PROVING THINGS 39: YOU CAN SPEND £10 MILLION IN COSTS AND STILL NOT PROVE YOUR CASE: DAMAGES CLAIM WAS A “NOTIONAL DESKTOP EXERCISE”

Civil Litigation Brief

It is unusual to look at the substantive judgment in a case after examining the decision on costs. We have already looked at the cost judgment in Amey LG Limited -v- Cumbria County Council [2016] EWHC 2496. However the substantive judgment, at [2016] EWHC 2856 (TCC) fits well within the proving things series.  It is a lengthy and complex judgment. Here I concentrate upon the absence of evidence to establish the counterclaim.

“… this was a notional desktop exercise undertaken without consideration of the real life factors which any reasonably competent highways authority would consider when making the decision whether and if so how to spend its scarce resources. Instead, in my view, it was an exercise primarily driven with a view to maximising this claim.”

THE CASE

The claimant was suing for moneys due under a longstanding highway maintenance agreement.  The claim was for over £30 million, the counterclaim…

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