Home Information Cases Shirayama Shokusan Company Ltd v Danovo Ltd (No 2) (2004)

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Shirayama Shokusan Company Ltd v Danovo Ltd (No 2) (2004)

Summary

[For the background, see Shirayama Shokusan v Danovo, 5.12.03]

Following Blackburne J's earlier order for compulsory mediation, a representative of the Claimants (Mr Okamoto), whose attendance the Judge had earlier described as "essential", refused to attend the mediation, and the 1st to 5th Claimants sought to attend the mediation through a solicitor instead.   The Defendant was unhappy with this approach, and applied for directions: in particular, for an order staying the proceedings until the conclusion of a mediation attended by identified representatives of the Claimants and of the Defendants, including Mr Okamoto.

Facts

The court considered the extent of its jurisdiction to give directions in relation to court-ordered mediations, and indicated some limitations.   In confirming that it had jurisdiction to ensure adequate representation by parties at a compulsory mediation, the Court has shown that it can take at least some steps to prevent parties undermining such a mediation.

Held

The application was dismissed.  

The court had jurisdiction, in order to render a court-ordered mediation efficacious, to order a party to be adequately represented at the mediation; but it would be an exorbitant exercise of jurisdiction to direct by whom the Claimants should be represented.   The order was also not appropriate on the particular facts.

In addition, Mr Okamoto was not a party to the proceedings, and there was no evidence that the Claimants could compel him to attend the mediation; and in those circumstances, the court doubted whether making the order sought would have been compatible with Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

Chancery Division
Blackburne J
Judgment date
26 February 2004
References

[2004] 1 WLR 2985; [2004] EWHC 390 (Ch)

Practice areas