Court shows its teeth by Striking Out Claim for Inexcusable Delay and Disregard for Court Orders

In Wearn (t/a Jonathan Wearn Productions) v HNH International Holdings Ltd [2014] EWHC 3542 (Ch), the High Court considered an application to strike out a claim for delay and non-compliance with Court rules and orders under CPR 3.4 (2) (b) and (c).

Whilst making significant effort to balance the alternative options to achieve proportionality, the Courts ultimately found that the delays and failure to comply with previous Orders were so significant that the prospect of a fair trial was very seriously impaired, and probably impossible.

Noting that the Defendant bore some responsibility for the delay, the Courts held that the Defendant’s fault was in “an entirely different league” to that of the Claimant.

This case serves as an important reminder that, whilst alternative remedies must be considered, the Courts wish for parties to get on with cases and will penalise any persistent failure to comply with Court rules and orders.

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