The decision in Martin -v- The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (4th March 2016) shows the importance of understanding the requirements of CPR 47.15(7).
Gordon Exall gives some helpful context to Martin in his article Denton Does Not Apply to Delay in Provisional Assessment. In summary, the receiving party filed a request on the very last day allowed by the rules, but failed to serve a copy on the paying party. The court held that the receiving party had therefore failed to comply with CPR 47.15(7).
The court found that the only test to be applied was that contained within CPR 47.15(7) itself, that in circumstances where the request was not filed and served, the result of the provisional assessment would be binding upon the parties except in ‘exceptional circumstances.’ The court found that there were no exceptional circumstances, and therefore the provisional assessment was binding.
Importantly the court found that the principles of relief from sanction under CPR 3.9 and Mitchell and Denton are not relevant, as CPR 47.15 is a self contained rule. Critically, this suggests that a party which fails to comply with CPR 47.15(7) may not apply for relief from sanction, and it must show that the circumstances leading to that failure were ‘exceptional’.
Matthew Rose is a Solicitor in the Costs and Litigation Funding department at Clarion Solicitors. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or the Clarion Costs Team on 0113 2460622.