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Civil litigation brief

Gordon Exall looks at Court of Appeal decisions in relation to the service of proceedings

26 July 2002

Issues relating to service of the claim form have proven to be a fertile source of problems for claimants. It is clear there is only a very limited discretion upon the courts to extend time if the claim form is served out of time. In Anderton v Clwyd CC [2002] EWCA Civ 933 (CA 3 July 2002) the Court of Appeal considered five different cases relating to service of the claim form. Warning The judgment starts with a stark warning. The consequences of failure to comply with the rules regarding service of the claim form are extremely serious for a claimant and his legal advisers. The situation is particularly fraught when a claimant leaves service until the end of the four month period. The court observed that now disputed issues of construction have been resolved “there will be very few (if any) acceptable excuses for future failures to observe the rules for service of a claim form. The courts will be entitled to adopt a strict approach, even though the consequences ...

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