Key Points

Portal exit was not unreasonable given D's behaviour

and

It was premature to apply to restrict a Claimant to Portal costs before the claim had concluded

Bursuc v EUI Ltd

DJ Revere, Clerkenwell & Shoreditch CC, 30th May 2018


This claim started in the MOJ RTA Portal Protocol, but the Claimant removed it from the Portal following the Defendant's repeated requests for more information and further disclosure. The Claimant had warned the Defendant that if they kept requiring further information, that they risked making the claim too complex for the Portal, but the Defendant continued to ask for more. The Claimant then removed the claim from the Portal because it was too complex, and issued Part 7 proceedings.


Whilst those proceedings were ongoing, the Defendant made an application for the Claimant to be restricted to Portal costs under CPR 45.24. The Claimant argued that it was premature to seek such an order before the claim had concluded, and in any event, the claim had become too complex and was no longer suitable for the portal.


In a reserved judgment the court found that the application was made too early, and in any event the departure from the Portal was not unreasonable in all the circumstances. The Claimant had supplied over 50 pages of evidence, the credit hire claim was not insignificant at over £17K, and it was clear that two of the heads of loss were going to be strongly defended, and the Claimant had warned (not 'threatened' as D argued) the Defendant that the claim may leave the Portal if they sought any further information , yet they still asked for more.


This is an unusual decision, finding that a Portal exit was reasonable as most cases have held the opposite. However, it does demonstrate that the Portal Protocol is only suitable for straightforward claims, and Defendants need to be careful they do not make a claim too complex by how they approach defending such claims, particularly where the vehicle related damages are larger.

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of the judgment