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Review Your SQE 1 Practice Records

Examination Timing: 00H00M01S

A large public limited company (PLC) leases a vending machine to a small village school. The school has failed to make a payment of £300 due under the lease agreement for the machine. PLC has commenced a claim against the school in the County Court. The school is defending the claim on the basis that sums are not due because the vending machine no longer works. PLC has instructed its solicitor to compile a list of documents containing 267 pages of emails and to seek expert evidence on vending machines from two different experts. 

Are these instructions likely to be consistent with the overriding objective of the Civil Procedure Rules?

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The overriding objective of the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) requires that cases be dealt with justly and at proportionate cost. In this scenario, the instructions given by PLC to compile an extensive list of documents and seek evidence from two experts for a claim of £300 appear to be disproportionate. The cost and effort involved in these instructions are likely to exceed the value of the claim, thus violating the principle of proportionality under the CPR. The court expects parties to consider the costs and benefits of their actions in relation to the amount at stake. 

Key Point: This question highlights the importance of proportionality and the overriding objective of the Civil Procedure Rules, which require parties to ensure that the steps taken in litigation are commensurate with the value and complexity of the case. Understanding this principle is crucial for effective and efficient legal practice in civil litigation.

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