Direct Access to justice

Dynniq UK Ltd v Lancashire County Council [2017] EWHC 3173 (TCC)

As an example of a claimant appointing their own barrister via the Direct Access portal this case addressed the proper interpretation of a 5 year NEC3 Term Service Contract using Pricing Option A, Priced Contract with Price List.  Justice Coulson considered that the matter before him did not give rise to any real difficulty in view of the plethora of cases dealing with proper interpretation and swept aside the claimant’s arguments of surplusage with reference to Lord Neuberger in Antigua Power Co Ltd v The A-G of Antigua and Barbuda [2013] UKPC 23.  On reading the extracts of the contract quoted in the judgment, one wonders how much professional advice the claimant sought prior to taking the direct route to court as, to paraphrase Justice Coulson, it was a pretty clear cut case against the claimant.  Although it is not apparent from the judgment how much was being claimed, which may have been an unreconcilable motivator, the claimant had his day in court.  It is not known whether or not there was any attempt at ADR, in particular mediation, prior to going to court, but perhaps in this instance a mediation may have provided the claimant with an important reality check so as to avoid further unnecessary legal costs.

A copy of the judgment can be viewed and downloaded at:

http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/TCC/2017/3173