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When a ‘strong defence’ becomes an own goal? Ignore mediation at your peril

back of the net!

By David Pipkin, Underwriting Director

(Estimated reading time: 1 minute, 9 seconds)

I am obliged to Marie-Claire di Mambro at Keystone Law Solicitors for bringing to our attention a very recent High Court decision in the case of DSN v Blackpool Football Club Ltd [2020] EWHC 670 (QB) in which Mr Justice Griffiths ordered indemnity costs against the defendant who, as well as failing to beat a Part 36, had persistently refused to mediate.

Marie–Claire commented  “This case acts as a salutary lesson to those defendants (who I come across on far too many occasions) who believe that just because they have a ‘strong defence’ this somehow allows them to refuse mediation.”

In this case, the judge was scathing of the defendant’s conduct and extended the indemnity costs order backwards for over a year because of the defendant’s point-blank refusal to engage in mediation. He also made it clear that, when behaviour such as this occurred, proportionality was irrelevant.

The numbers involved? The claimant was awarded damages of just over £19,000 (which included interest), but had to pay £200,000 costs to the claimant…

The Temple perspective

This is yet another timely reminder to make sure each party puts ADR of some kind into their litigation game plan. Temple Legal Protection can cover the risks of ADR – please  talk to one of our underwriters about how we can help your client gain the best ATE insurance.

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David Pipkin

David Pipkin

Director, Underwriting Division
Read articles by David Pipkin

David Pipkin

David has spent over 30 years as a Legal Executive specialising in personal injury litigation. Initially, he was a claimant litigator pursuing leading industrial accident and disease cases.

As an Associate at Davies Arnold Cooper for over a decade he managed a team of lawyers and acted for defendants in personal injury and general insurance litigation. In this role, he became involved in the early development of the ATE market, assisting the ABI in their involvement in the Court of Appeal test cases such as Callery v Gray.

As the London representative for FOIL he was involved in the liability insurers’ approach to ATE and worked with the government and judiciary in several key consultations. He was a member of the CILEX National Council for over 15 years and was CILEX President in 1995/6.

This diversity of experience means that he brings an exceptional knowledge of the practice of law and the management of a law practice to Temple’s customers.

His hands-on involvement at a high level of both sides of legal disputes means that he is able to give our customers advice beyond an expert evaluation of the probability of success of a case.


Read articles by David Pipkin