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Commercial litigation: Predictions for 2014

Sarah McCann, barrister at Hardwicke Chambers, on some of this year's highlights

6 January 2014

Mitchell

The high profile Court of Appeal decision in Mitchell was the most talked about decision of recent times in civil litigation. The intended (and unintended) consequences of the decision will be felt throughout 2014. The courts are likely to face an increase in the number of contested applications for relief from sanction as parties test what amounts to a 'trivial breach' or 'good reasons' for the breach.

The myriad different factual scenarios which may result in a breach and the different nature of those breaches mean that litigators are likely to take some time to establish how a court will assess the application. A greater number of interim applications must also be anticipated where parties proactively seek assistance from the court to prevent them being in breach of court rules and orders in the first place.

Where those interim applications or subsequent applications for relief from sanction fail, there are also li...

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