NON CO-OPERATION WITH A CLAIMANT OR DEFENDANT'S SOLICITOR COULD END UP COSTING YOU MONEY
You could find it an expensive mistake if you refuse to co-operate with the Claimant’s/Defendant’s solicitors. In the case of Street & Anor v Larkins & Anor (2013) Ch D (Gaunt J QC), 08.03.13 a Wasted costs order was made against the claimant because they unreasonably refused to consent to an adjournment of a trial date where it was virtually impossible to have the case prepared in time.
The Circumstances of the case are that directions were given in June 2012 for the preparation of a joint expert report. The trial was listed for 04.03.13. An expert was not instructed until December 2012 and his report was due by 22.02.13. On 08.02.13 the Defendant's solicitors wrote to the claimant suggesting the trial date be re-fixed to allow time for consideration of the report. They chased for a response on 15.02.13. The claimant consented on 26.02.13. The claimant accepted that the defendant had adopted a reasonable position in requesting an adjournment and that, at the time of the chaser letter on 15.02.13, it was virtually impossible to prepare the case in time for trial. The claimant's refusal to consent to the earlier request for an adjournment was unreasonable. The claimant was therefore ordered to pay the wasted costs between 16.02.13 and 26.02.13.
The moral of the story is try to be as reasonable as possible when dealing with the representatives on the other side of your case and make a detailed note of all conversations between you and them. Don't do this and you could end up with an expensive costs order against you.
This is for information purposes only
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