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Rayden Engineering case - Pre-trial review

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Rayden Engineering persistently ignore court orders

Our correspondent writes ...

In June 2010,  a pre-trial review was held before His Honour Judge Mackie. The claimants, not for the first time, failed to produce the documents they had been ordered to produce by a Court Master in March 2010.

At this hearing, Rayden's solicitor, John Frith of Berryman, appeared in court for the first time. He took responsibility for the missing documents and claimed it was an oversight - a likely story! In later correspondence, it transpired this ruse to fool the court was the suggestion of their barrister.

Judge Mackie was not pleased but he gave them yet another bite of the cherry and set new deadlines for the material to be presented. He also awarded costs to DC and myself, all to be paid within 14 days.

Again, Richard Hayden failed to obey the orders of the High Court. DC eventually had to instruct bailiffs to recover her costs and my costs were finally paid in February 2011 - eight months after they were ordered. Hayden's new solicitor, Paul Balen of Freeth Cartwright, arranged for a cheque to be sent but did not cough up any late-payment interest until I reminded him and, even then, he short-changed me.

The next hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice in the Strand was the revised pre-trial review. As Rayden Engineering had still failed to comply with the orders of Judge Mackie made in June, my co-defendant, DC, had also applied for an Unless Order to compel the claimants to follow court instructions, failing which she asked for the action to be struck out.

The case was heard on 14th October 2010 by Mrs Justice Sharp. Solicitor John Frith was not in court on this occasion but it was clear the barrister, Harvey Starte, was struggling to explain why Judge Mackie's orders had not been obeyed. There were muttered explanations about Richard Hayden being too busy with his business to attend to the necessary matters and this did not go down at all well with Mrs Justice Sharp, who also learned that my costs had still not between paid and were almost four months late at that point. Mr Starte took telephone instructions from his solicitor and advised the judge with these words: "the cheque is in the post as we speak." It later transpired that this statement was completely untrue and remained untrue for a further four months.

After deliberation, Mrs Justice Sharp's judgment, sealed by the court on 1st December 2010, was that Hayden's actions were to be struck out. Judgment was entered for the defendants - DC and myself. Dame Victoria Sharp also refused the claimant's application for leave to appeal.

After many long months of legal battles, we thought that was the end of the matter. Unfortunately, it was not.

Richard Hayden decided to blame his solicitor, John Frith for losing the case, appointed a new solicitor, Paul Balen of Freeth Cartwright, and applied to the High Court for leave to appeal, purportedly based on new evidence.

Click here to read the next chapter - Rayden's High Court Appeal

"Many men stumble across the truth ... but most manage to pick themselves up and continue as if nothing had happened."

Winston S Churchill

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