In Bond v Dunster Properties Ltd [2011] EWCA Civ 455 the Court of Appeal described a delay of 22 months between the end of the hearing and the delivery of judgment as "lamentable and unacceptable" but held that it did not render the judge's conclusions unsafe so as to make it just to order a retrial.

The court noted that there is no statutory rule that a judgment must be delivered within a specified time, although the usual period is taken to be three months. Judgment has to be delivered "within a reasonable time" and what is reasonable may vary according to the complexity of the legal issues, the volume and nature of the evidence and other matters. Where delay occurs the litigants should receive an apology and, if possible, an explanation.

However, a serious delay in handing down judgment will not automatically render a judgment unsafe. As in any appeal on findings of fact, the question for the appeal court is whether the trial judge was plainly wrong, taking into account the "special advantage" trial judges normally have of seeing the witnesses give their evidence. Where judgment is seriously delayed, the importance of this special advantage is diminished. Where the appeal court finds that the judge's recollection of the evidence is at fault on any material point, it will order a retrial if, having regard to the diminished importance of the trial judge's special advantage in the interpretation of evidence, it cannot be satisfied that the judge came to the right conclusion. This may lead to an appeal court entertaining, and sometimes allowing, an appeal when it would not otherwise have done so.

The Master of the Rolls (Lord Neuberger), who delivered a concurring judgment in the case, stated that he proposed to investigate whether more robust and effective procedures are needed to minimise the risk of such a problem arising in the future.