The Court of Appeal today rewrite the important Mitchell test

Denton -v- TH White Ltd & De Laval Ltd
Decadent Vapours Ltd -v- Bevan, Salter & Celtic Vapours Ltd
Utilise TDS Ltd -v- Davies, Bolton Community College Corp & Watertrain Ltd
Court of Appeal
4 July 2014

We should already have learned that significant claims handling developments are not evenly spaced out. Today was also a big day on the important issue of how courts should deal with the issues raised by relief from sanctions applications. This type of application is of course required where a party to litigation has failed to comply with a court direction which carries a sanction in default, such as a direction for exchange of witness statements or of expert evidence.

This afternoon’s development was the giving of judgment by the Court of Appeal in three appeals (Denton v T H White; Decadent Vapours v Bevan; Utilise v Davies) in which that court’s earlier famous (or infamous) judgment in Mitchell v NGN was under the microscope. The judges included Lord Justice Jackson himself as well as the Master of the Rolls Lord Dyson. Surprisingly or not, there was one point upon which the two most important judges in the roll out of the Jackson reforms could not agree.

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This information is intended as a general discussion surrounding the topics covered and is for guidance purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. DWF is not responsible for any activity undertaken based on this information.

Simon Denyer


I am the Strategic Legal Development Partner within the Insurance team.