Berezovsky v Hine & Ors (2011)
The court granted an order striking out a new statement of case lodged on behalf of the claimant in Commercial Court proceedings.
The defendant (R) in Commercial Court proceedings known as "the Abramovich action" applied to strike out various parts of a new statement of case lodged on behalf of the claimant (B). B's statement of case had been set out in his response to R's request for further information. The court had to determine whether the newly formulated statement of case, if permitted to be run, or maintained, as a case at the joint trial, was an abuse of the court's process; was likely to obstruct the just disposal of the trial; or was likely to prejudice any other party to the proceedings.
To allow B, at such a late stage of the Abramovich action, to amend his case to plead, for the first time, a substantive proprietary claim against R based upon an as yet unpleaded, or inadequately pleaded, allegation would not only seriously disrupt the fair and efficient conduct of the trial in the Abramovich action, but would also be unjust, in that it would be unduly prejudicial to R. Furthermore, justice to B did not require the court to permit the amendment. Accordingly, R's strike out application would be allowed, but the precise terms of the order required further discussion with counsel (see para.20 of judgment).