Judges are taking a more robust stance on applications for relief from sanctions, even where litigants in person are involved.

There are few things more frustrating for litigators than a party on the other side failing to comply with a procedural requirement or the terms of a court order. And most frustrating of all, perhaps, is the uncertainty as to how to respond.

The traditional approach of the courts was to excuse non-compliance if any prejudice caused to the other party was capable of being remedied, usually by an order for costs. As such, practitioners were required to consider whether it was in the best interests of their clients when faced with a breach from the other side, to bring this to the attention of the court. In light of the court’s approach, the tendency for practitioners was to forgive such breaches and agree extensions of time for compliance.

Tom Deely appears in Solicitors Journal commenting "Despite the clearer guidance practitioners must still weigh up a number of factors when deciding how to proceed in the face of a breach or non-compliance"

Tom is an associate in the trust and estate disputes team. Tom acts for both claimants and defendants on a range of matters including claims pursuant to the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 ('The 1975 Act'), will disputes, domicile disputes, applications in the Court of Protection, disputes with personal representatives and trustees, administration disputes (both domestic and international) and property trust disputes.