High Court refuses CPR Part 18 Application for further information and interrogatories in conspiracy claim involving alleged deceit

High Court refuses CPR Part 18 Application for further information and interrogatories in conspiracy claim involving alleged deceit

Arfan Khan successfully acted for the Claimant instructed by Simon Boschat and Raj Pabla of Hill Dickinson LLP against the Defendant who was represented by King’s Counsel and Junior Counsel.

The Claimant seeks damages from the Defendant due to losses arising from a collapsed scheme allegedly aimed at deceitfully evading affordable housing obligations required by section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

The Claimant alleges deceit and an unlawful conspiracy, contending she was misled into buying a flat at open market value under false representation that it was not subject to affordable housing restrictions. The Claimant had to sell the flat she purchased at an affordable housing value and incurred substantial losses. The conspiracy claim involves parties allegedly colluding to harm unsuspecting buyers, including the Claimant.

The Defendant’s previous attempts for summary judgment or striking out the claim were rejected in both the first instance and Court of Appeal judgments, with permission to appeal further being refused by the Supreme Court.

The Defendant subsequently applied to the Court to compel the Claimant to fully respond to earlier requests for information made in July 2020. This information was alleged to be crucial for the Defendant to understand the fraud-based case. Additionally, the Defendant sought an order to strike out the Particulars of Claim if the Claimant failed to comply with the request for information.

In his Judgment, Deputy Master Linwood referred to the relevant legal principles and arguments in detail. He refused the Defendant’s applications in their entirety, in summary due to the following reasons advanced on behalf of the Claimant:

(1). The requests were not strictly necessary and proportionate to enable the Defendant to prepare his own case or understand the case he had to meet on the pleading which could not be said to be inadequately pleaded.

(2). In any event, the Court would not exercise its discretion in the context of the overall case management of the claim, bearing in mind the benefit, cost and financial resources and the overriding objective. In particular, the Deputy Master highlighted the Defendant’s previous conduct and commented that there appears to be some force in the Claimant’s submission that the Defendant was pursuing a strategy to obstruct and delay the proceedings to place the Claimant under pressure to discontinue or settle on disadvantageous terms.

Deputy Master Linwood dismissed a separate argument on behalf of the Claimant alleging an abuse of process.

The judgment is reported as Raja v McMillan [2023] EWHC 1110 (Ch).

It can be accessed the following links:

Raja v McMillan

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