Judgment (Application for extension of time)

Neutral citation:

[2009] CAT 34


8 Dec 2009



Judgment on an application by Fish Holdings Limited for an extension of time under Rule 8(2) of the Tribunal Rules until the actual receipt by the Tribunal of a notice of appeal against a decision of the OFT entitled “Bid rigging in the construction industry in England” (“the Decision”). The last day for lodging an appeal to the Tribunal against the Decision was 23 November 2009, whereas the notice of appeal was received by the Tribunal Registry on 26 November 2009.

Fish Holdings relied upon the following combination of circumstances to justify its application: (a) due to an administrative error, the notice of appeal was sent by post to the wrong address, i.e. the Tribunal’s previous address in New Court, Carey Street, London, even though Fish Holdings’ representatives knew of the Tribunal’s correct address; (b) the recipient of the notice of appeal at Carey Street, rather than informing Royal Mail that the Tribunal was no longer at that address and refusing to accept the package, apparently took it on themselves to accept delivery of the package and forward it by post to the Tribunal’s current address at Victoria House, Bloomsbury Place, London.

The President refused the application for an extension of time as there were no circumstances which could be regarded as exceptional within the meaning of Rule 8(2). The Tribunal had been based at its current address since 2003 and its website recorded the current address, as did the front page of its judgments and the Guide to Proceedings. Moreover, experience showed that in circumstances where the time remaining for lodging documents was very short the only way to be sure that an important document reached the Tribunal in time was to arrange for personal delivery. It was the sole responsibility of the parties and their legal representatives to ensure that the time limits for filing court documents were complied with.

This is an unofficial summary prepared by the Registry of the Competition Appeal Tribunal.