PPML imagined some parking slight or other had occurred. C Limited did not agree. PPML therefore instructed Gladstone Solicitors to file a claim.
As with all these Gladstone claims, the particulars were a nonsense. Gladstones do not believe they need to obey practice directions. As their solicitor Helen Cook explained a while back:
We issue on a vast majority of claims, majority of which are not defended and therefore it is time consuming and not financially viable to send further particulars of claim
C Limited were not in the habit of wasting time with bogus claims and so filed for a strike out. They submitted that the claim should be struck out pursuant to CPR 3.4(2)(b) insofar as the statement of case is an abuse of the court’s process or is
otherwise likely to obstruct the just disposal of the proceedings.
They also pointed out that there was a clear conflict of interest as the IAS and Gladstones were run by the same body. A potential conflict of interest therefore exists between the Claimant’s Solicitors and their client. In effect the Claimant’s solicitors have the potential, to exert influence via their formulation of the appeals process and appointment of adjudicators (whose identities are deliberately withheld), over the extent to which appeals are allowed. This in turn is likely to have the consequence of generating more litigation for them to undertake on the IPC’s members behalves.
There is also the potential for the Claimant’s solicitors to compromise the supposed independence of the IAS to suit the broader interests of parking management companies who are both its clients and the members of the trade association it operates
C Limited sent an employee to the strike out hearing. PPML sent a man called Mr Blake, who introduced himself as a director even though he does not appear to be according to Companies House.
The hearing was short-lived.
The claim was struck out and variously described by District Judge Musgrave as 'poor', 'utterly hopeless and inadequate' and 'an abuse of process'. He did not require submissions in respect of the matters raised in C Limited's statement and the matters raised therein did not form the basis of his judgement.
PPML were ordered to pay £341 in costs.
Hiring cheap shoddy solicitors does not always save money. If your solicitors believe that it is not financially viable to obey practice directions then you probably either need to change solicitors or not file the claim.
Parking & Property Management Limited - you've been Gladstoned!
The Parking Prankster