Calculation of Limitation Period

May 21st, 2021 by James Goudie KC

The issue in Matthew v Selman (2021) UKSC 19 was whether, where a cause of action accrues at, or on the expiry of the midnight hour at the end of a day, the following day counts towards the calculation of the limitation period. The Supreme Court holds that, in a midnight deadline case, such as an action brought in tort, contract or breach of trust, subject to respectively Sections 2, 5 and 21 of the Limitation Act 1980, there is a complete undivided day following the expiry of the deadline, which should be included when calculating the limitation period. This is different from the situation where a cause of action accrues part-way through a day, and the general rule excludes that day for limitation purposes.

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