CPR r39.3 provides that, if a party fails to attend "the trial" and an order or judgment is made against him/her, that order or judgment can only be set aside if three conditions are met (including whether there was a good reason for the non-attendance). Of issue in this case was whether an order made against a party at a hearing was an order made at a "trial". The judge concluded that "the default position with respect to whether or not what takes place at a hearing can be properly described as a trial within CPR 39.3 depends on the context, depends upon the purpose of the hearing and upon the procedural orders which have been made leading up to the hearing, rather than upon the form of whatever has been used in order to get to that hearing". Trials, as distinct from interim hearings, lead to an order which carries with it finality.

Here, both parties had been through various procedural steps so that the matter could be finally determined at the hearing and hence that hearing had been a trial within the meaning of CPR r39.3. Furthermore, there was no basis for the party's assumption that a mediation would be taking place, and hence no good reason for her non-attendance.