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Withdrawing Admissions: Wood v Days Healthcare UK Limited [2017] EWCA Civ 2097 - Shaun Ferris, Crown Office Chambers

26/01/18. The Court of Appeal has considered the position where a defendant (D1), presented with a claim that is said to be of low value, admits liability but is later confronted with a significant increase in the value of the claim.

The claimant initially indicated that her claim was a fast track claim (then limited to £25,000) and D1 admitted liability. Some time later the claimant’s solicitors indicated that the claim had increased significantly in value and, when proceedings were commenced, a claim in excess of £300,000 was pleaded. At that stage D1 reviewed its admission and, upon discovering material that would give it a defence (which had been available at the time of the initial admission), sought to resile from the admission.

In a hearing before Laing J the claimant resisted D1’s application. At the same hearing the claimant also sought summary judgment against a different defendant (D2). Laing J refused D1’s application for permission to withdraw the admission holding that the increase in value was not a good reason to allow D1 to do so. At the same time Laing J...

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