Significant Developments: Asgar & Anor v Bhatti & Anor
The matter of Asgar & Anor v Bhatti & Anor (2017) QBD, concerned a Claimant who was permitted to amend their budget due to ‘significant developments’ in the litigation, despite the original budget being subject to sanctions for late filing. Reuben Glynn, Managing Director, PIC, reports.
The case arose from an allegation by the Claimant that the Defendants (the first a solicitor and the second his firm) had compelled the Claimant to pay them money in relation to the purchase of two properties.
Sanctions were applied due to the Claimant’s failure to file a budget. Accordingly the Claimant was limited to Court Fees only. The Claimant applied for relief from sanctions but this was rejected in October of 2015.
The original budget had accounted for a trial period of six days, however during the litigation it became clear the trial period would be 12 days. As such, all parties amended their budgets and duly filed the same.
Lewis J was required to determine whether the increased length of trial constituted a significant development. The Master found it was and duly permitted the Claimant’s budget. The Defendant countered saying that the sanctions order would still have been made even if the parties knew about the true length of the trial period. This was rejected by the Master.
It should be noted that the Master only allowed the Claimant the further six days of the trial period, not the full 12 days. Nevertheless, it is clear that a ‘significant development’ will encompass a situation which will require a Claimant to incur far more costs than initially anticipated, regardless of any sanctions which had hitherto applied.
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