Alternative service authorised by judge

Albon v Naza Motor Sdn bhd and Amin (Chancery Division - 29 March 2007)

This case concerned a dispute in relation to sums owed to Mr Albon by Naza Motor Sdn bhd, a company incorporated with limited liability in Malaysia, and their principal shareholder, Mr Amin.

Mr Albon was unable to serve proceedings on Naza in Malaysia, and therefore sought and obtained an Alternative Service Order pursuant to CPR part 6.8 (authorising service upon the defendants under methods not authorised by the CPR). The defendants applied to set aside this order and another order permitting service outside the jurisdiction.

The court refused to set aside the orders. The question of whether there was good reason for authorising an alternative method of service was a matter to be determined by the judge at the date of the application on the particular facts of the case before him and in this case the order had been made correctly. The provisions of CPR part 6.8 had to be applied in a manner which furthered the overriding objective. Therefore it was not a precondition of the making of the order that service by a method permitted by the CPR was impracticable; it was only necessary that there was a good reason to make the order.

COMMENT

The court will look at the facts of each particular case in deciding whether to authorise an alternative method of service instead of assessing whether service according to the CPR is impracticable. In this case the conduct of the defendant showed a desire to make life as difficult as possible for the claimant, whereas the sums at stake were important for the claimant's financial survival; therefore alternative service was authorised. Sandeep Dyal, BLM Birmingham.

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