Is this the most ridiculous court decision ever?

legal updates

Court Directions are not a wish-list from which you can pick and choose the ones you want to meet.

Read our disclaimer keyboard_arrow_down

This website content is intended as a general guide to law as it applies to the motor trade. Lawgistics has taken every effort to ensure that the contents are as accurate and up to date as at the date of first publication.

The laws and opinions expressed within this website may be varied as the law develops. As such we cannot accept liability for or the consequence of, any change of law, or official guidelines since publication or any misuse of the information provided.

The opinions in this website are based upon the experience of the authors and it must be recognised that only the courts and recognised tribunals can interpret the law with authority.

Examples given within the website are based on the experience of the authors and centre upon issues that commonly give rise to disputes. Each situation in practice will be different and may comprise several points commented upon.

If you have any doubt about the correct legal position you should seek further legal advice from Lawgistics or a suitably qualified solicitor. We cannot accept liability for your failure to take professional advice where it should reasonably be sought by a prudent person.

All characters are fictitious and should not be taken as referring to any person living or dead.

Use of this website shall be considered acceptance of the terms of the disclaimer presented above.

A client was embroiled in a long battle with a customer over the usual type of matter –was the car faulty or not?

The court directed that by a certain date each party must exchange Witness Statements with each other and send them to the court, in advance of a hearing. Additionally, the parties were ordered to appoint an independent expert witness between them and for him (or her) to submit that report.

Our client decided that rather than waste lots of time and energy on doing these matters, they simply decided to offer the Claimant the exact amount requested on the Particulars of Claim. They wrote to the Claimant many weeks before the hearing offering the full amount. Only one condition applied – the Claimant was to discontinue proceedings upon agreeing to accept every penny that was being claimed for.

Silence. Absolutely nothing from the Claimant. So our client wrote to the court stating what had happened and asking that, if they still had to attend the hearing, the Claimant be ordered to pay their costs for doing so. Bear in mind that they would not have had to attend if the Claimant had accepted the amount being asked for many weeks previous.

Somewhat bizarrely, the Claimant submitted a lengthy Witness Statement regardless and even hired her own expert to do a report at the cost of £500.  The upshot of this being that the Claimant went to court asking for more than the amount sought in her Particulars of Claim. The Judge immediately dismissed such an idea and refused to even look at her expert’s report.

HOWEVER, he ordered that our client nevertheless pay for the full cost of that report! 

Client reminded the court that had they had long offered the full amount claimed for, which was the amount now awarded by the court – and that had the full value of the Claim been accepted when offered then no expense would have been incurred for the subsequent and wholly unnecessary expert report.

The Judge rejected that argument.  Why?  It seems he did so because of the failure of our client to file a Witness Statement!  The Judge reminded our client – as we remind you here – “The court does not give directions for the fun of it – we expect compliance”. This follows on from an unrelated hearing where the Judge said “Court Directions are not a wish-list from which you can pick and choose the ones you want to meet”.

And whilst we understand that Judges “expect compliance” surely it is not beyond expectation for the parties to go to court and “expect common-sense?”


Leading experts in print, promotional clothing, staff uniforms, branded merchandise and PPE. Involution is your brand partner for promotional marketing and workwear, a one-stop-shop for your branded marketing needs for any business size and industry.

Jason WilliamsLegal AdvisorRead More by this author

Related Legal Updates

Customer reneges on agreed not distance sale

Our member explained they do not offer a delivery service and do not engage in distance selling.

Consumer “Handcuffed” by Deduction for Use Settlement

Don’t sign any contract unless you are fully aware of its terms!

Court management service raises money for charity

Members can leave the legal worries to us and can focus on their core business of selling vehicles, running their service and repair garages, and/or MOT testing centres.

Double or nothing – Consumer’s claim dismissed!

The Claimant countered with a request for more than double the amount that our member had offered.

Non-refundable deposits – Where do you stand?

Relevant paperwork should be provided before payment is taken.

Used car warranties – What are you liable for?

If a fault is found to have been developing at the time of sale, this could become the trader’s responsibility to provide a remedy.

Distance Selling Regulations – A thing of the past?

The regulations only apply to consumer contracts, not business-to-business sales, and only apply to sales conducted at a distance.

Get in touch

Complete the form to get in touch or via our details below:

01480 455500

Vinpenta House
High Causeway

By submitting this quote you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy & Cookies Policy.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.