Robin Hollington Q.C. and Adrian Pay acted for the successful respondents in Vollin Holdings Ltd & Ors v Faulkner & 69 ORS (2020)
15 Jun 2020
Robin Hollington Q.C. and Adrian Pay acted for the successful respondents in Vollin Holdings Ltd & Ors v Faulkner & 69 ORS (2020).
Permission to appeal was refused where the applicants had no real prospect of success in their appeal against case management decisions on disclosure where the judge had acted within his discretion and had not misunderstood the rules.
The applicants applied for permission to appeal against a judge's order.
The judge had made decisions on disclosure and handed down his judgment in December 2019 but the order was not sealed until months later. In March 2020, Morgan J granted the applicants' ex parte application for an extension of time for permission to appeal on the basis that, if it was necessary, time should be extended.
The applicants sought to appeal several paragraphs of the judge's order relating to disclosure. The respondents argued that Morgan J's order should be set aside as the relevant date for time to begin to run was when the judgment was handed down, not when the order was sealed.
HELD: Extension of time - There was ambiguity in the law as to when a "decision" was made but Morgan J had been correct to say that, if necessary, time should be extended, Collins v Simonsen  EWHC 2214 (QB) considered.
Prospect of success - The applicants had no real prospect of success in their appeal against the disclosure decisions. The judge was the master of the facts and he had correctly identified the applicable principles regarding disclosure under CPR PD 51U. The applicants were attempting to revisit the substance and detail of his decision and were seeking to attack his discretion in circumstances where an appellate court should be extremely wary to tread. The court should only interfere in case management decisions where the judge had been plainly wrong, Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Plc v T&N Ltd (In Administration)  EWCA Civ 1964 followed. The judge was best placed to make case management decisions. Under the Pilot Disclosure Scheme in the Business and Property Courts, issues were considered issue by issue and there was a specific bespoke disclosure regime. The judge had given a long and carefully thought-out judgment listing the issues in the case and he had not misunderstood the rules or acted so far out of his judicial discretion that it warranted the court's interference.
For the applicants: Donald Lilly
For the respondents: Robin Hollington QC, Adrian Pay