The claimant was granted an extension of time for service of its claim form and the defendant appealed against a subsequent refusal to set aside that order. The claimant's solicitors had delayed service within 4 months in order to resolve matters so far as possible in correspondence, without the need for proceedings. Roth J held that this had not amounted to a good reason, in light of the clear authorities on the strict approach to extension of time. Furthermore, although the solicitors had served full particulars of claim on the defendant in draft (and so the defendant was fully informed of the case against it), that alone should not have been sufficient to justify an extension of time because a limitation defence was prejudiced by the extension.
However, this was not an appeal against the order extending time for service. Instead it was an appeal against the order dismissing the defendant's application to set aside the order extending time.Hoddinott v Persimmon (see Weekly Update 45/07) is authority for the position that the fact that the original extension of time should not have been granted does not necessarily mean that a subsequent application to set aside must succeed. Here, there were exceptional circumstances to justify a refusal to set aside the order. The defendant's solicitors had delayed service of the application and as a result the claimant was denied the chance to issue a second claim form before the limitation period expired. For that reason, the refusal to set aside the order extending time was allowed to stand.