Aggressive/Expensive Litigation Tactics

by John Reid

A UK High Court Judge recently berated what he described as aggressive Litigation tactics "from an earlier era".

The Honourable Mr. Justice Fraser, a Judge of the High Court of England and Wales, conceded that there was little more that he could do to put a halt to Litigation opponents engaging in tactics which clearly served to prolong matters and lead to excessive legal costs.

The Judge was commenting in the course of a Hearing in the case of Bates v Post Office Limited. He said that the parties had engaged in "constant interlocutory strife" and "an extraordinarily narrow minded approach".

He went on to say that the parties regularly gave the appearance of taking turns to outdo their opponents in terms of lack of co-operation. He said that "This simply must stop. It is both very expensive, entirely counterproductive to resolution of what is so far an intractable dispute and that there is a limit to what the Court can do to other than, yet again, exhort the parties to remind themselves, daily, if necessary, of what the overriding objective requires."

The Judge explained that the costs of the dispute to date exceed £10m. He was commenting in the course of the tenth separate interlocutory Hearing within a period of only twelve months. The latest Application alone involved Booklets being handed in containing some twenty-five different Judgments, eighty-five pages of total skeleton arguments and a further bundle containing sixty-two letters passing between the Legal Advisors for the parties. The latest Application by one of the parties was dismissed by the Court.

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This document is for information purposes only and does not purport to represent legal advice.  
© O’Rourke Reid 2018