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  1. This may be of interest to those reading this forum. The Supreme Court handed down Judgment last week in the case of Barton v Wright Hassall LLP. Barton was a Litigant in Person bringing a professional negligence claim against Wright Hassall, who themselves were represented by BLM. Barton had been in contact with BLM pre-issue by email. As limitation was approaching he issued, and then just at the end of the 4 month time limit, served his proceedings by email on BLM (having opted to do this himself rather than letting the Court serve). BLM a couple of weeks later, advised that they had not permitted him to serve by email, and that the proceedings were therefore not served. This meant he was out of time to re-serve the same proceedings. Unfortunately he was also then statute barred from issuing another claim. Barton argued that as BLM were corresponding with him by email, this was an indication that they would accept service by this method. BLM contented that the Civil Procedure Rules were clear, and that they had not given permission to serve by email. The Supreme Court ruled in Wright Hassall's favour. A bit of a warning that the CPR will not be applied differently to unrepresented parties, and furthermore, that a represented opponent has no obligation to raise such issues and notify the unrepresented party of any breaches - see paragraph 22 of the Judgment (available on the Supreme Court's website): "Even on the assumption that they realised that service was invalid in time to warn him to re-serve properly or begin a fresh claim within the limitation period, they were under no duty to give him advice of this kind. Nor could they properly have done so without taking their client’s instructions and advising them that the result might be to deprive them of a limitation defence. It is hardly conceivable that in those circumstances the client would have authorised it." There are a good bunch of people here to help on this forum, to avoid situations like that Mr Barton found himself in.
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