The Court of Appeal has provided a timely reminder to solicitors of the need to correctly advise their clients and exercise a degree of pragmatism in cases where the Defendant is a dissolved company.
In Cowley v LW Carlisle, solicitors for the claimant in an occupational deafness case failed to take the necessary steps to restore the defendant company to the register of companies before issuing proceedings against it. In addition, the firm had racked up nearly £50,000 of costs for a claim that was worth only around £5,000. The Court of Appeal confirmed the County Court decision to strike the claimant's case out and ordered the claimant's solicitors, rather than the claimant, to pay all costs.
In the judgment in Cowley v LW Carlisle & Company Ltd  EWCA Civ 227 today the Court of Appeal dismissed the claimant’s appeal against an order striking out his claim against one defendant. At the time the striking out took place that defendant was not in existence, it was a company that had been struck off the register. The Court also gave general guidance to insurers who face an action where a company has not been restored, and yet proceedings are threatened (or issued) against that company.