Bannister v SGB Plc and others and 19 Other Appeals: CA 25 Apr 1997

Detailed guidance was given as to several different problems of interpretation of Order 17 r 11, dealing with automatic directions. Definitive guidelines were given for the interpretation of automatic directions and strike out provisions in the County Court.
Once the pleadings are deemed to be closed in an action to which Order 17 Rule 11 applies, automatic directions will apply unless they are ousted. An appeal court will only interfere in the exercise of a judge’s discretion whether or not to reinstate the action if persuaded the judge was so plainly wrong that he must have failed properly to apply the relevant guidelines. The plaintiff must satisfy the court that in all the circumstances his failure to apply for a date is excusable, that is to say, it should be forgiven. The word ‘excusable’ ‘has given rise to much debate, but looking at the cases as a whole it means simply whether in all the circumstances what is ex hypothesi an unjustifiable failure is of such a kind that it should not of itself preclude reinstatement; in other words that it should be forgiven. Thus a failure by solicitors to have any or any adequate system for monitoring compliance with the automatic directions, with the result that the guillotine date arrives and passes without any action, is very unlikely indeed to be regarded as excusable.’
Saville LJ, Brooke LJ, Waller LJ
Gazette 13-Aug-1997, Times 02-May-1997, [1997] EWCA Civ 1524, [1998] 1 WLR 1123, [1997] 4 All ER 129
County Court Rules Ord 17 r11
England and Wales
Allowed forHoskins v Wiggins Teape (UK) Limited CA 1994
The plaintiff had delayed the action. It had been transferred from the High Court in July 1991, and was then automatically striuck out. The plaintiff sought re-instatement.
Held: The court attempted to put into proper context the problems that . .

Cited by:
CitedHawkins v Keppe Shaw, Solicitors (a Firm) CA 20-Jul-2001
The solicitors represented the applicant in a claim for personal injuries. The action was struck out, and he sued the solicitors for negligence. Composite directions had been given, and the question was whether the making of those directions ousted . .
CitedCockeril v Tambrands Limited CA 21-May-1998
Even if a case is quite unsuitable for automatic directions, the plaintiff has an obligation to apply instead for specific manual directions to stand in their stead. It would be wrong to allow a plaintiff to escape from the discipline of the . .
CitedGreig Middleton and Company v Denderowicz and Olaleye-Oruene v London Guildhall University (No 1) CA 4-Jul-1997
Direction was given as to the circumstances allowing an appeal out of time after a change in the law affecting a decision after the judgment had been given. Corrections to Bannister v SGB plc made in respect of time calculations in County Court . .
CitedKhela v Pone and Norwest Holst Limited CA 21-May-1997
The claimant sught to re-instate his personal injury action. It had been struck out under the automatic directions.
Held: The claimant had not satsified the requirement to provide a sufficient reason to make his delay excusable. . .
CitedCockerill v Tambrands Ltd; Prolaw Ltd v Adams; Jackson v Pinchbeck CA 21-May-1998
The court considered consolidated appeals relating to the use of Order 17 Rule 11. . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 21 April 2021; Ref: scu.135926

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