Privy Council Judgment on Trinidad CPR

Real Time Ltd v Renraw Ltd [2014] UKPC 6

On 3 March 2014 the Privy Council delivered its judgment in an appeal concerning the construction of the Civil Proceedings Rules in Trinidad & Tobago. The Judge at first instance had accepted the defendant’s submission that CPR Part 35.3 prevented an Order that the claimant provide the particulars necessary to make the statement of case compliant with CPR Part 8 (i.e. the facts relied upon to establish a contract of loan). As the particulars had not been volunteered he therefore struck out the claim. The claimant appealed on the basis that the particulars were unnecessary. The Court of Appeal (while affirming that the particulars were required) raised the point (not taken by the claimant) that the Judge should have considered whether or not to order the provision of particulars as an alternative to striking out the claim. The Court of Appeal ruled that this was permitted as part of the Court’s general powers of case management and that in any event Part 35 was not intended to refer to further and better particulars, being akin to the pre-CPR regime for interrogatories. In doing so it drew on portions of the Greenslade Report which had laid the ground for the introduction of the CPR in Trinidad & Tobago. The Privy Council upheld the Court of Appeal’s construction and remitted the matter to the Judge to reconsider the exercise of his discretion afresh in the light of the ruling.

William McCormick QC and Om Lalla, instructed by Nigel Tait and Rebecca Toman of Carter-Ruck, agents for instructing attorney Dereck Balliram of KR Lalla & Co, represented the defendant.