December 20th, 2023 by James Goudie KC

In GLOVER v FLUID STRUCTURAL ENGINEERS (2023) EWHC 3219 (TCC) the Defendant submitted that the claims advanced by the Claimants cannot succeed as a matter of law, and therefore should be struck out, or dismissed summarily, rather than be allowed to go to trial. The Judge set out the proper ambit of and approach to such applications as follows:-

(1) A Court may strike out a claim where, amongst other things, the statement of case discloses no reasonable grounds for bringing or defending the claim;
(2) A Court may give summary judgment where: (a) the claimant has no real prospect of succeeding on the claim or issue; and (b) there is no other compelling reason why the case or issue should be disposed of at a trial;
(3) Where applications are made to strike out under the CPR as disclosing “no reasonable grounds” for bringing the claim and, in the alternative, for summary judgment, there is no difference between the tests to be applied;
(4) Proper grounds for strike out and for summary judgment exist where the facts of the case, do not, even if true, amount in law to a defence to the claim;
(5) However, it is generally not appropriate to strike out a claim on assumed facts in an area of developing jurisprudence;
(6) Proper grounds for summary judgment include that on current evidence a claim has no realistic prospects of success and there is no additional evidence that can reasonably be expected to be available at trial (including any oral testimony) that is likely to add to or alter the evidence that will be available to a trial judge and so affect the outcome of the case; (7) However, the Court should not conduct a mini-trail on disputed evidence.

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