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Stick to the rules

Alec Samuels discusses the culture of compliance following Denton v White

22 December 2016

Every litigation solicitor knows of the current culture of compliance, and that relief from the sanction for default will be hard to obtain (Denton v TH White Ltd [2014] EWCA Civ 906).

The master or judge should approach an application for relief from sanctions in three stages. The first stage is to identify and assess the seriousness or significance of the default. The second stage is to consider the reason for the default. The third stage is to consider all the circumstances of the case so as to deal with it justly. Furthermore, the litigant and their solicitor have a duty to co-operate with the court and with the other party.

Whether the applicant is seeking relief from an express or an implied sanction, the principles are the same.

The solicitor must consider relevant points of principle to argue. Citation of authority will likely be inappropriate, be...

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