Courts re-open - but Keoghs still confuse

Garvins Law issues a report on LinkedIn today (24th June) announcing a good result for the team in Stoke on Trent County Court. We do like to share good news...

They reported a full recovery of over £21k on credit hire and repairs and also reported that they beat their own Part 36 offer as well. I have no idea who they were up against but Craig Delahaye gave a special mention to Moh Saleh (one of their litigators rather than the Liverpool striker) who was praised by the Judge and Counsel (Thomas Waldron of Kings Bench Chambers) for the bundle and brief preparation where, as ever in credit hire litigation, the devil proved to be in the detail.

In a sign of a slow return to normality, DAMS also reported their first in-person trial since March 23rd - a Fast Track case dealing with liability and quantum in Leeds.

On the topic of how the courts were reacting post COVID 19, Paula Levens reported that the conference rooms were all locked, seats in court were marked as 'out of service' and people were required to wait outside and then the usher called people in to court one person at a time, by name, and then advised them where to sit. There was a one way system for movement around the building but face coverings were not required, in Leeds at least.

Reports from Keoghs

Whilst the courts are starting to return to normal, the same can't be said of Keoghs.

One member sent me a copy of some correspondence where their normal aggressive 'front-foot' approach appears to have been replaced with a plaintive approach for co-operation rather than conflict.

The member reports that cases are being litigated by them as normal but queries raised in connection with pleaded defences are being responded to deficiently and resulting in applications being made against Keoghs. In simple terms, Keoghs are pleading factual points about the cost of repairs and hire and where they are asked to substantiate those pleased defences have effectively conceded that they have not yet instructed an engineer or rate witness to substantiate their assertion. Their response suggests that they have not yet been able to do the work necessary and has been paraphrased by our member as "‘please make it easy for us to resolve the case by settling so we don’t have to do the work".

One to think about for those who are normally on the back-foot against Keoghs and still worth considering how to increase pressure in the other direction whilst they are clearly impacted by their furlough decision earlier this month.