BVI Court of Appeal Stands Firm in Enforcing Compliance with Rules

The Court of Appeal has held that a misinterpretation of the law and a miscalculation of statutory time limits does not justify a relief from sanction.

The Applicants in this case were the family of the late Georgian billionaire, Arkady "Badri" Patarkatsishvili. A single judge of the Court of Appeal refused the Applicants an extension of time to file a Notice of Appeal of a costs judgement, which they had filed out of time and having forgone conditional leave.

The Applicants applied to the full panel of the Court of Appeal to vary this decision. They also sought relief from sanction and an order extending time for satisfying conditional leave. The Applicants argued that their legal practitioners' computer system had incorrectly calculated the time allowed for filing an appeal and also that the Applicants, despite having obtained conditional leave, had not appreciated that they actually required it.

The Court of Appeal held that apparently as a result of mistakes by their advisors the Applicants had intentionally failed to satisfy the conditional leave and relief from sanctions was therefore refused.

The application fell at the first hurdle of the test for the granting of such relief.

The decision sends a clear message that "the threat of a sanction imposed whether by rule or order is not to be treated lightly" and gives litigants in the BVI jurisdiction the commercial certainty that the rules of the Court will be enforced and speculative, unfounded applications will not be allowed. The Applicants have however applied for leave to appeal the decision to the Privy Council.

Walkers acted for the Respondent, Ivane Chkhartishvili, in successfully resisting the application.


To view the judgement, please click here.

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