Pearson Driving Assessments Ltd v Minister for the Cabinet

Citation: EWHC 2082 (TCC)

Nature of case:
Pearson had issued proceedings against the Minister, following the latter’s decision to award a public contract to another tenderer.  This had engaged the Minister’s obligation to refrain from entering into the contract under s.47G(1) of the Public Contracts Regulations 2006, which obligation the Minister had then applied to have brought to an end under s.47H(1)(a).  Standard disclosure in Pearson’s claim was due to take place shortly after the hearing of the Minister’s application.  At this hearing, Pearson applied for specific disclosure to enable it to resist the Minister’s application.

Akenhead J refused the application.  As it related to the question of whether there was a serious question to be tried, Akenhead J considered that disclosure was unnecessary, taking the view that there was ample material available to allow the court to decide that question as a matter of law; the court would not be in a position to make findings of fact unless those facts were supported by uncontroversial documentation.  Akenhead J also rejected the argument that the documents requested would be relevant to the balance of convenience on the Minster’s application, on the basis that such an application was designed to be heard with urgency and without full disclosure.  If it became clear during the hearing that justice could not be done without further disclosure, the hearing would be adjourned to allow for it.

Link to Judgment

Counsel

Fionnuala McCredie QC

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