The Defendants were represented at their application to vacate the trial date, although for much of the case they had been litigants in person. The Defendants needed additional time to address the Claimants amendments to their Particulars of Claim (which had been allowed 6 weeks before trial) and to prepare an experts report, and for disclosure.
The Judge refused to exercise his power under CPR 3.1(2)(b) to delay the trial having regard to the overriding objective. He concluded that 'some slack' was required with litigants in person, however, the reasons for seeking an adjournment were not sufficiently strong. Although the Defendants may suffer prejudice by not having their own expert at trial, they were the authors of their own misfortune.