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Policing the profession

The Court of Appeal has strayed into policy making with the Mitchell ruling, Sophie Khan argues

18 December 2013

"Totalitarian", "zero-tolerance", "disciplinarian" are words that you would readily associate with the police and their policies rather that judgments handed down by Lords of the Court of Appeal. But last month, the Court of Appeal gave judgment on the long-awaited "plebgate" libel appeal and these were the words used to describe their deliberations.

The claimant solicitors, Atkins Thomson, had not filed the cost budget on behalf of their client, Andrew Mitchell MP 7 days before the date of the hearing for which the costs budgets are required as stipulated by section 4.2 of Practice Direction 51D - Defamation Proceedings Costs and Management Scheme and as a result the scheduled case management and cost budgeting hearing before Master McCloud was aborted. Master McCloud ordered that as the cost budget was filed six days late that the cost budget for the claimants would be limited to court fees. The claimant solicitors appealed firstly, ...

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