Roult v North West Strategic Health Authority: CA 20 May 2009

The parties had settled a personal injury claim, on the basis as expected that the claimant would be provided with accommodation by the local authority. It later turned out that accommodation would not be provided, and he returned to court to request that the order be amended. He now appealed refusal of an order.
Held: The court did not have jurisdiction to vary a settlement later undermined by an unexpected event. The order had been a final disposal of the action, and it was not in the interests of vulnerable parties generally to allow the variation of such orders. Rule 3.1(7) could not be used for this purpose.
Hughes LJ concluded: ‘I agree that in its terms the rule is not expressly confined to procedural orders. Like Patten J in the Ager-Hanssen case [2003] EWHC 140 I would not attempt any exhaustive classification of the circumstances in which it may be proper to invoke it. I am however in no doubt that CPR r 3.1(7) cannot bear the weight which Mr Grime’s argument seeks to place upon it. If it could, it would come close to permitting any party to ask any judge to review his own decision and, in effect, to hear an appeal from himself, on the basis of some subsequent event. It would certainly permit any party to ask the judge to review his own decision when it is not suggested that he made any error. It may well be that, in the context of essentially case management decisions, the grounds for invoking the rule will generally fall into one or other of the two categories of (i) erroneous information at the time of the original order or (ii) subsequent event destroying the basis on which it was made. The exigencies of case management may well call for a variation in planning from time to time in the light of developments. There may possibly be examples of non-procedural but continuing orders which may call for revocation or variation as they continue-an interlocutory injunction may be one. But it does not follow that wherever one or other of the two assertions mentioned (erroneous information and subsequent event) can be made, then any party can return to the trial judge and ask him to reopen any decision. In particular, it does not follow, I have no doubt, where the judge’s order is a final one disposing of the case, whether in whole or in part. And it especially does not apply where the order is founded upon a settlement agreed between the parties after the most detailed and highly skilled advice. The interests of justice, and of litigants generally, require that a final order remains such unless proper grounds for appeal exist.’

Lord Justice Carnwath, Lady Justice Smith and Lord Justice Hughes
[2009] EWCA Civ 444, [2010] 1 WLR 487, [2009] LS Law Medical 383, [2009] PIQR P18
Bailii, Times
Civil Procedure Rules 3.1
England and Wales
CitedPearlman v Keepers and Governors of Harrow School CA 14-Jul-1978
The court considered the finality of decision of a county court judge regarding the interpretation of the phrase ‘structural alteration’ in the 1974 Act. Paragraph 2 (2) of Schedule 8 provided that the determination of the county court judge ‘shall . .
Citedde Lasala v de Lasala PC 4-Apr-1979
No Revisiting of Capital Claim after Compromise
(Hong Kong) Where capital claims are compromised in a once-for-all court order they cannot be revisited or reissued in the absence of a substantial mistake. Capital orders are ‘once-for-all orders’. The legal effect of the order derives not from the . .
CitedBarder v Caluori HL 2-Jan-1987
In divorce proceedings, the husband had transferred his interest in the matrimonial home to the wife who had been awarded care and control of the two children of the family. The order was made on 20 February 1985 and on 25 March the wife unlawfully . .
ApprovedLloyds Investment (Scandinavia) Ltd v Ager-Hanssen ChD 15-Jul-2003
The defendant sought a variation under Part 3.1(7) of an order setting aside an earlier judgment in default of defence, on terms requiring a substantial payment into court with which the defendant, who was a litigant in person, had not complied.
Cited by:
CitedKojima v HSBC Bank Plc ChD 22-Mar-2011
The defendant had been found to owe money to the bank. In order to avoid damaging his career he agreed to execute a charge to secure the judgment. He now sought release from that order, and to withdraw his admission of the debt. He had acted in . .
CitedCS v ACS and Another FD 16-Apr-2015
Rule Against Appeal was Ultra Vires
W had applied to have set aside the consent order made on her ancillary relief application accusing the husband of material non-disclosure. She complained that her application to have the order varied had been refused on the ground that her only . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Personal Injury, Civil Procedure Rules

Updated: 02 November 2021; Ref: scu.346218