An Ambush at Court….
For the roving advocates amongst our readership who may occasionally find themselves at the mercy of some hitherto unidentified breach raised by the judge or smiling opponent at a hearing intended to deal with other matters, Cutler – v – Barnet London Borough Council (2014) QBD (Supperstone J ) 31/10/2014 is a useful reminder that the Court retains a discretion to consider an oral application for relief from sanction in circumstances where the proper procedure under CPR 23, owing to the ambush-nature of the need for such an application perhaps, has not been followed. It also contains a helpful nod in the direction of Nelson v Circle Thirty Three Housing Trust Ltd  EWCA Civ 106,  3 Costs L.O. 355 as authority allowing the Court to consider relief of its own motion, substantially unbinding the hands into which the fate of you or your client may have been placed.
Certainly two essential cases for any advocate to have handy to meet the twinkling eye of the Columbo of the County Court when they unearth that issue in the hearing which, but for their likeable but rumpled absent mindedness, could perhaps have been identified and raised a good deal earlier and resolved prior to the hearing.