Sarah Robson Barrister
Neither party can raise anything at a Stage 3 hearing which has not been raised in Stage 2
Mulholland v Hughes
HHJ Freedman, Newcastle CC, 18th September 2015
This case dealt with three different issues; the status of offers in the Portal, whether it is open to a Defendant to rely on matters not raised during Stage 2, whether a court can order repayment of the Stage 2 payments where the court later awards less than that sum. The common theme of all four appeals was that they were cases where the court awarded the Claimant less than the Defendants had offered and in three of those cases there was an overpayment which the Claimants were ordered to repay to the Defendants.
The court held firstly that offers in the Portal were not the same as admissions, and thus they did not bind the Defendant in that the Defendant was able to argue for less than the sum they had offered. Secondly, the court held that a Defendant could not rely on arguments not raised during Stage 2 within Stage 3. Thirdly the court found that a court could order a repayment of an over-payment of a Stage 2 payment. Fourthly the court found that parties could not raise an issue in a Stage 3 hearing which had not been raised in Stage 2.