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James Laughland, instructed by Roger Jones of Kennedys Law LLP, acted for the appellant who successfully challenged the trial judge’s finding that whilst there had been dishonesty, there had not been “fundamental dishonesty” within the scope of section 57 Criminal Justice & Courts Act 2015. Mark James, also of Temple Garden Chambers, acted for the Respondent. Both had appeared at trial and on appeal
Mr Justice Julian Knowles’ judgment gives the first High Court level guidance on the proper approach to consideration of fundamental dishonesty in such cases. He said: “a claimant should be found to be fundamentally dishonest within the meaning of s 57(1)(b) if the defendant proves on a balance of probabilities that the claimant has acted dishonestly in relation to the primary claim and/or a related claim (as defined in s 57(8)), and that he has thus substantially affected the presentation of his case, either in respects of liability or quantum, in a way which potentially adversely affected the defendant in a significant way, judged in the context of the particular facts and circumstances of the litigation. Dishonesty is to be judged according to the test set out by the Supreme Court in Ivey v Genting Casinos Limited (t/a Crockfords Club)”.
In the instant case (London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (in liquidation) v Sinfield) the Claimant’s dishonesty related to his claim for commercial gardening assistance. His Schedule of Loss and witness statement falsely stated that he only employed a gardener as a consequence of the accident, whereas in fact he had done so for many years. In addition, his Disclosure List included invoices purportedly from the gardener, but in fact these were documents created by the Claimant himself. As a result of the finding of fundamental dishonesty the claim, valued at some £26,000, was struck out and the Claimant ordered to pay the Defendant’s costs of the action and appeal on the indemnity basis.
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