Tuesday 1 February 2022
The Good Law Project appeals against the order made by O’Farrell J refusing their application for an order correcting a procedural irregularity concerning service under CPR 3.10 or validating late service of the claim form under CPR 6.15, alternatively for an extension of time for service under CPR 3.1(2)(a).
The judge set aside the claim form for want of jurisdiction by reason of invalid service.
The claim concerns a public interest judicial review brought by a not-for-profit organisation seeking to challenge contracts for PPE valued at 130 million pounds awarded to Pharmaceuticals Direct Limited.
The Claimant contends that these contract awards were tainted by apparent bias and amounted to breaches of regs 18 and 32 of the Public Contracts Regs 2015 due to lack of transparency and equal treatment in the contract awards.
The claim was set aside by the judge on basis of ineffective service of the claim form in circumstances where the sealed claim form had been served on the date of issue on the relevant GLD caseholders but not on a particular email address to which the Claimant had previously sent an unsealed copy of the claim form after it had been filed.
The judge refused to correct the error of procedure, validate service on the caseholders or extend time for service by one day on basis that the error was a careless mistake and the Defendant would be deprived of a limitation defence if time were extended.
C submits that the judge erred as she wrongly considered that she had no jurisdiction to rectify the error under CPR 3.10; when considering CPR 6.15 she failed to apply Supreme Court authority or take into account the wider public interest; likewise she failed to take into account those issues when considering CPR 3.1(2)(a).