No favourable treatment for litigants in person
Submit Articles Back to Articles
22nd January 2014 lawson west
In a recent case at the High Court, the judge rejected an
application from the defendant to move the date of the trial set
against them. The defendants in the dispute had decided to represent
themselves as ‘litigants in person’ for much of the case to that point
although they had taken representation to the hearing.
The application had been made a few weeks before the trial
began as the defendants said they needed extra time to address
amendments to the claimants’ particulars of claim. The defendants also
argued that they needed further time to prepare an expert’s report and
for disclosure since they had not had the benefit of legal advice on
The judge decided that these weren’t good enough reasons to
give the defendants the extra time they asked for, even though he
conceded that "some slack" needed to be cut for litigants in person and
he appreciated that the defendants had faced difficulties. Although
they might suffer prejudice by not having an expert's report for the
trial, the defendants had placed themselves in this situation by
failing to act quickly enough over a long period of time.
The decision acts as a reminder that the Court may be
sympathetic to litigants in person, but they will not be treated
favourably because of it. Instead the Court will still make a decision
based on certain principles. The best advice for any business facing a
dispute is to gain legal representation as soon as possible.
About the Author
Lawson-West specialise in commercial, business and employment law. Our team
of dedicated commercial solicitors can help with buying or selling a business,
business law and disputes, landlord and tenant issues and commercial property.
Our expert employment team can offer practical advice and guidance on all
aspects of employment law including redundancy, compromise agreements and
dismissal procedures. Visit
www.lawson-west.co.uk for more information.
Follow us @Scopulus_News
Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2014-01-29 09:06:18 in Legal Articles