No special dispensation for litigants in person in complying with CPR provisions

21 Feb 2018


The Supreme Court has today dismissed the appeal in  Barton v Wright Hassall LLP  by a majority of 3:2. View judgement here


Mr Barton (acting as a litigant in person) served his claim form by email only without the defendant having consented to such service. The narrow point being that an email address on the writing paper of the solicitor acting for the party to be served can only be used where it is stated that the email address may be used for service.   It was common ground on the appeal that it was not good service unless the court retrospectively validated service.  The courts at all levels declined to do so.  The majority judgment of Lord Sumption and the dissenting judgment of Lord Briggs (with whom Lady Hale agreed) invited the Civil Procedure Rules Committee to look at the issues raised by the appeal.  What are the chances that service by email will become easier once the Committee has reviewed the provisions and/or that litigants in person will be treated more favourably on dispensation applications?


By Gerard van Tonder



Gerard van Tonder