Case Update: Denton and Applications for Leave to Appeal Out of Time

In the matter of Paul Turner v. South Cambridgeshire District Council [2016] EWHC 1017, Mr Justice Warby heard the Applicant’s application for leave to appeal out of time from a decision of the Valuation Tribunal. The Applicant had an automatic right of appeal, provided the appeal was lodged within two weeks of the decision being handed down. The Applicant was two weeks and a day late in filing their appeal, having been wrongly advised by their counsel that they had a period of four weeks from the decision being handed down to lodge the appeal.  

Mr Justice Warby confirmed that it was the Court’s practice, when deciding whether or not to allow an application out of time, to treat the application as being equivalent to a request for relief from sanction, which should be determined with reference to CPR 3.9 and the “Denton” test. The application was dismissed. In applying the “Denton” test, the Court noted that:

  1. The Applicant conceded that the breach was serious;

  2. Counsel’s incorrect advice could not be deemed a good reason for the delay – the Applicant had to bear the consequences of the incorrect advice; and

  3. When considering all the circumstances of the case and, with reference to CPR 3.9(1), the needs for (a) litigation to be conducted efficiently and at a proportionate cost and (b) enforcement of compliance with rules, practice directions and orders, it was noted that the Applicant’s appeal did not raise any arguable point of law and their conduct was characterised by persistent lateness.

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