Success in the Mercantile Court and Court of Appeal

Walsham Chalet Park Limited, trading as The Dream Lodge Group v. Tallington Lakes Limited [2015] EWHC 2083 (QB)

Following last year’s appeal (which we have previously reported) on a significant point of procedural law in this case, Charles Fussell & Co LLP is pleased to announce that it has taken the case to trial and won. The case concerned what should have been a short-lived dispute between two companies who used to operate a joint venture but fell out acrimoniously in February 2012. Most of the issues between the parties were matters of simple accounting under a simple contract which could and should have been resolved by agreement without the need for legal proceedings.

Unfortunately, however, the Defendant was represented throughout by a director who (as the trial judge found) was “apt … to lose perspective completely when an issue is raised and then descend into quite unnecessary vitriol with those who do not agree with him”. Not content with taking every conceivable point, he made wild allegations against everybody involved in the case.

He wrote insulting emails to us, which ranged in tone from the mischievous (comparing us to characters in well-known sketch shows and ostriches, in each case helpfully including photographs) to the seriously unpleasant and unprintable. When presented with the Claimant’s disclosure, he accused us of criminal conspiracy to fabricate evidence.

He also accused our client of orchestrating a curiously half-hearted campaign of intimidation against him personally. He said this included acts of criminal damage to the gates outside his home and the sending of a cryptic email containing the word “Capet”, which he construed as “kaput” and therefore a veiled threat to him and his family – on the basis that our client’s managing director was born in 1961 and was therefore familiar with terminology from the Second World War. The trial judge found this allegation to be “bizarre and baseless”.

Notwithstanding this barrage, a team led by Simon Winter of Charles Fussell & Co LLP patiently martialled the facts and rebutted all the Defendant’s allegations. We instructed first Daniel Saoul of 4 New Square and then Michael Buckpitt of Tanfield Chambers to represent the Claimant in Court.

Ultimately, and after no fewer than seven lengthy pre-trial hearings (including one in the Court of Appeal), the Claimant succeeded on every significant issue at trial and the Defendant has been ordered to pay substantial damages, additional damages under Part 36 of the Civil Procedure Rules – for having failed to beat a pre-trial offer of settlement – and costs on the indemnity basis.

The Defendant applied for permission to appeal and a stay of execution – twice, once on paper and once orally. Both such applications were dismissed.