Office Equipment Systems Ltd v Hughes [2018] EWCA Civ 1842

Appeal against a decision that the Respondent, who were debarred from the liability hearing because they did not file a response, should also not be allowed to file written submissions in relation to remedy. Appeal allowed.

The Claimant made various claims against the Respondent who failed to file a response in time. The ET refused to extend time and made judgment against them. The EJ then refused the Respondent's request to participate at the remedy stage, saying that there was sufficient material on which to make a determination on remedy without the need for a hearing. The Respondent appealed.

The Court of Appeal allowed the appeal. In a case which is sufficiently substantial or complex to require the separate assessment of remedy after judgment has been given on liability, as in this case, only an exceptional case would justify excluding the respondent from participating in any oral hearing; and it should be rarer still for a tribunal to refuse to allow the respondent to make written representations on remedy. There was no reason why the company should have been precluded from making submissions on the quantum of the Claimant's claim following the judgment on liability. An appropriate course would have been to invite the company to make such submissions by a specified date and for an EJ then to consider whether an oral hearing was required. The Claimant was also ordered to pay over £14,000 towards the Respondent's costs although enforcement of this order was stayed pending the determination of remedy.

Published: 06/08/2018 10:27

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