McTear & Williams v Engelhard & Others

[2014] EWHC 722 (Ch); [2014] 3 Costs LR 493

14th March 2014

Chancery Division


Relief from sanctions -  Extensions of time - Late service of witness statements – Amendments – Expert evidence 

Two interim applications made by the defendants (represented by Jonathan Lopian) at the start of trial, seeking relief from sanction for late service of witness statements and relief from sanction/extension of time for late disclosure of new documents discovered two weeks prior to trial. Both applications dismissed by the judge.

The defendants were also (i) refused permission to rely on a defence of insolvency set-off on the grounds that it required an amendment to their pleaded case (rejecting the submission that being a matter of pure law it did not need to be pleaded) and that it was too late for such an amendment, and (ii) refused permission to call a witness on the grounds that his statement constituted expert evidence for which no prior application had been made.

The judge’s decisions were subsequently overturned on appeal (see [2016] EWCA Civ 487)

Richard Spearman QC (sitting as deputy judge of the High Court)


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Hansells were the instructing solicitors

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