Law Report: Technical requirements of affidavit must be observed

Barclays Bank plc v Piper. Court of Appeal (Lord Justice Neill, Lord Justice Roch). 23 May 1995.
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Barclays Bank plc v Piper. Court of Appeal (Lord Justice Neill, Lord Justice Roch). 23 May 1995.

Proceedings for summary judgment under Order 14 of the Rules of the Supreme Court, because they deprived a defendant of his opportunity to defend a plaintiff's claim, and in particular the opportunity of hearing and cross-examining the plaintiff's witnesses, made it all the more necessary that the technical requirements of an affidavit in support of the application should be observed, so that a defendant and the court could assess whether the information or belief as to the material matters on which the plaintiff's claim was based were derived directly or indirectly from persons who could be expected to have the necessary knowledge or be keepers of the necessary documents.

The Court of Appeal unanimously allowed an appeal by the defendant, Brian Philip Piper, against the decision of Mr Recorder Burnett QC, sitting as a deputy High Court judge on 5 October 1994, and reversed a summary judgment awarded to the plaintiff, Barclays Bank plc, for pounds 55,105.25 in respect of two unrecovered loans. The bank's application had been supported by affidavits which the court held were defective. Nicholas Stanton (Lamberts, Plymouth) for the defendant; Neil Levi (Stephens & Scown, Exeter) for the bank.

LORD JUSTICE ROCH said Order 14 proceedings were quite unlike applications for interlocutory injunctions, in which liberty to the defendant, to apply to set aside the order, would be a standard term. An Order 14 judgment finally disposed of the action, in summary manner. The purpose of the rules relating to the contents of the affidavit in support was to ensure that the plaintiff had demonstrated that the case was a proper one for summary judgment.