The Sanctions Case Watch section of this blog does its best to keep up to date with cases relating to relief from sanctions. It does this in chronological order. There is always a link in that section to the useful Denton Resource which is curated by barrister Rachel Segal. Rachel has now updated the resource and kindly sent me details. The new Resource is up to date to the 4th February 2021.



“Each entry is a brief summary of the case as it relates to relief from sanctions (as distinct from other substantive legal issues that might have arisen) and is intended to help the reader decide whether to delve deeper into the judgment. All but one of the 40+ new summaries in this edition are based on the full approved judgment; legal blogs and online legal databases and online resources have also been used where required for older authorities or those where full judgments are unavailable. As ever, accuracy is therefore reliant on the quality of the source.

The Resource is arranged thematically and each entry summarises the defaulting party’s breach(es), the court’s application of the criteria set out by the Court of Appeal in Denton v White [2014] EWCA Civ 906, and the outcome. For those requiring a brief reminder, the court must identify and assess the seriousness or significance of the breach; consider why the default occurred; evaluate all the circumstances of the case so as to enable the court to deal justly with the application (including the need (a) for litigation to be conducted efficiently and at proportionate cost; and (b) to enforce compliance with rules, Practice Directions and court orders).

The expansion of circumstances in which the court routinely applies the test set out at CPR 3.9 and/or the Denton principles has continued and in the most recent batch of cases includes applications to set aside winding-up petitions and, beyond civil litigation, various circumstances in the family courts. There is no doubt that the 3-stage Denton “test” is very familiar to the judiciary and equally little doubt that the test is still being misapplied on a daily basis. Also emerging from the 2020 authorities is a disproportionately high number of relief from sanctions applications relating to late-served or inadequate statements of case (see the Pleadings section) and in respect of the late service of witness evidence (cf. the Witness Statements section).”