Kerry Underwood

SPLIT TRIALS: AN EXTINCT SPECIES?

with 2 comments


In Howard & Ors v Chelsea Yacht And Boat Company Limited (1) & The Port of London Authority (2)  [2018] EWHC 1118 (Ch)

a Chancery Division Master refused to order the trial of a preliminary issue and considered a number of Court of Appeal authorities on the point, and these are set out in paragraphs 19 to 21 of the judgment.

Any given case will be fact sensitive, but this case is in line with a recent trend of refusing split trials.

The general view is that split trials result in further delay and increased costs and have been described by the Court of Appeal as “offering a siren song to the parties”.

The starting point now appears to be that the court will refuse such an application unless there are powerful arguments for allowing it.

Written by kerryunderwood

June 7, 2018 at 8:26 am

Posted in Uncategorized

2 Responses

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  1. I have a very high value PI case that on my view seems ripe for a split trial. Are there any recent cases on the subject that might assist me in deciding whether it is worth making an application. We are are DQ stage

    Dominic moss

    August 13, 2020 at 12:02 pm

    • Dominic

      I am unaware of any significant case on the principle of split trials since the one reported on this blog.

      It is always a question of fact in each case, and the key issue is whether it will save time, especially court time, and money.

      In the current climate, the court may well consider whether part of the trial, for example the quantum part, could be done remotely and that might increase the chances of having a split trial, so that experts etc. need not actually attend, but presumably witnesses of fact will be necessary for the trial on liability.

      Kerry

      kerryunderwood

      August 14, 2020 at 11:28 am


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