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Leading victory on pre-action disclosure in Court of Appeal

Two members of Civitas Law, Theo Huckle QC leading Cathrine Grubb, are delighted to have learned of their recent success in the Court of Appeal on what is undoubtedly an important decision on pre-action disclosure.

The Court of Appeal yesterday handed down their judgment in the case of Smith v Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change [2013] EWCA Civ 1585 allowing the Claimant’s Appeal and request for pre-action disclosure.  The judgment confirmed that there is no jurisdictional threshold requiring the applicant to show that its case has a minimal level of ‘arguability’.  In doing so, the court of Appeal also overruled the High Court case of Kneal v Barclays Bank Plc [2010] EWHC 1900, which had previously held that the applicant had to at least show that the applicant needed to show a prima facie case which was more than a speculative punt.

Mrs Nicola Smith, Senior Lawyer and Manager of Leeds law firm, RH Solicitors says:

“It has taken a long time to get to this result, but well worth the wait.  It is indeed the result we were hoping for.  We feel that this Judgment will make a huge impact on future claimants and will hopefully put an end to lengthy and protracted legal arguments upon the point of Pre-Action Disclosure.  Defendants should now think twice before challenging the CPR and embrace the overriding objective of timeliness and openness between parties.  There is little need for argument when the matter can be dealt with swiftly and economically.  RH Solicitors are proud to have stood their ground and taken this matter to the Court of Appeal.  We are particularly grateful to Leading Counsel, Mr Theodore Huckle QC and Junior Counsel, Miss Cathrine Grubb of Civitas Law in Cardiff for their unwavering support and eternal optimism.”