Beware the cost of “inadequate oversight”
Cabo Concepts Ltd v MGA Entertainment (UK) Ltd , concerns a claim for damages arising from MGA’s alleged breach of competition law and unjustified threats of patent infringement.
Three weeks before the trial of the action, the Defendant advised the court that some 85,000 documents had been missed during its data collection process and as a result the trial was postponed by more than two years and is now listed for October 2024.
The Claimant accused the Defendant and their solicitors Fieldfisher, of “inadequate” oversight having failed to fulfil a pledge to the court to ensure proper disclosure in the build up to the trial. The Claimant alleged that the review process had “serious flaws” and was characterised by “poor choice of methods and inadequate supervision and oversight.”
QC for the Claimant told the court that the Defendant and their Solicitors had turned a blind eye to warning signs accusing both the Company and Solicitors of passing the buck over “who was to blame” for the failings.
A short oral judgment was given by judge Dame Joanna Smith who ordered the costs of the adjourned trial date to be paid by the Defendant on an indemnity basis, with an order for an interim payment on account of costs being 45% of the £1.5m claimed.
Reasons are to be published and no doubt Professional Indemnity policies are being reviewed.
Gary Knight, Partner and Costs Lawyer