HHJ Gregory, Liverpool CC, 2nd March 2015
The Claimant had some difficulty in locating the correct and sent CNFs to a number of incorrect Defendants before finding the correct one. However, instead of sending them a CNF first, the Claimant issued Part 7 proceedings against them. At first instance, the lower court found that the claim would have left the Portal anyway, and declined to restrict the Claimant to Portal costs. However, on appeal, the court found the Claimant had acted unreasonably. The court also held that the lower court had been wrong to find that the claim would have left the Portal anyway. The Claimant was restricted to Portal costs.
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This case, along with Tennant v Cottrell and Dawrant v Part & Parcel Network, confirms that a court cannot use hindsight when assessing whether a Claimant has acted unreasonably in breaching the Portal. A court must look at things as they were at the time of the breach. There can be no retrospective justification for an earlier Portal breach.