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Bethell Construction Limited & Anr v Deloitte & Touche (CA) 18/11/11


The Claimants issued a claim form and provided a copy of it expressly 'not by way of service' in 2007. The parties then entered in to an agreement to allow an extension of time for service of the Claim Form and the Particulars of Claim terminable on 14 days notice. In 2010 the Claimants purported to serve Particulars of Claim on the Defendants. The Defendant's solicitors realised that the Particulars of Claim could not be served without service of the Claim Form and responded to the effect that the notice was being served to end the extension of time. After the relevant time had expired the Defendant took the point that the claim was statute barred. The Claimants sought to dispense with serviced and alleged that the Defendant was estopped having effectively (and successfully) set a trap for the Claimants. The Court of Appeal held that the conduct of the Defendant's solicitors was perfectly proper and they had done enough not to fall foul of the test in the Stolt Loyalty by their response and the Defendant wa s entitled to rely on its limitation defence.