An application to vacate the date of an inquiry into damages under a cross-undertaking following the discharge of a without notice anti-suit injunction was dismissed as there was no good reason to grant relief, and the interests of justice lay firmly in maintaining the current procedural timetable.
Mr Justice Popplewell confirmed that the appropriate test was whether the “interests of justice” would be served by ordering a stay, and observed that case law related to stays in other circumstances (late amendments, to await the outcome of foreign proceedings) did not assist him. The questions of cost, and of expedition had to be borne firmly in mind.
The factors identified as of particular relevance included the fact that the inquiry under the cross-undertaking was satellite litigation; the alleged losses were relatively modest and of a relatively narrow scope; the stay requested would necessitate vacating the hearing, which would not then be likely to be fixed until autumn 2015 or later; there was therefore a real risk the determination of the inquiry would be delayed for a year, which would inevitably prejudice the defendant to the inquiry. The parties seeking the stay had not provided any evidence of potentially relevant documents or what searches had taken place: they had only made a generic assertion of a need to investigate and take time to collate and assess the results of any search. There was no clear picture before the court of what had been done or needed to be done.
Victoria Windle appeared for the applicant.