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13/04/2007

Banks, limitation dates and Newly Qualified Barristers

I’m not going to weigh in on the details of the case brought by newly qualified barrister Tom Brennan against Nat West, apparently adjourned for a full day’s argument on the issue of whether aggravated and exemplary damages are even available, prior to the main hearing, two hours not being enough.

I admire Mr Brennan’s determination, but, assuming that he is correctly quoted by the BBC, I fear for his command of civil litigation. Mr Brennan apparently said

“It should be noted that any delay is going to assist the defendants because only six years of charges can be made,” he said.

“Every day that passes, more money is being saved by the bank.”

I hate to point it out, but limitation only runs to the issue (or filing for issue) of the claim, and freezes at that point. It doesn’t run to hearing of the claim.

Mr Brennan is certainly getting a lot of publicity and goodwill, but I suspect he has just failed to endear himself for instruction to civil litigators.

As to costs, I hope to hell he kept his claim inside the small claims limit. [Edit: He did, but could still face costs if the claim is deemed unreasonable.]

Giles Peaker is a solicitor and partner in the Housing and Public Law team at Anthony Gold Solicitors in South London. You can find him on Linkedin and on Twitter. Known as NL round these parts.

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