Procedural Complexities in Stuart Lunn v Antarctic Logistics Centre International: Service of Claim Form, Jurisdictional Challenges, and Relief from Sanctions

Citation: [2023] EWHC 2856 (KB)
Judgment on


In the case of Stuart Lunn v Antarctic Logistics Centre International (Pty) Ltd, several intricate procedural issues arise concerning the service of claim forms out of jurisdiction, time extensions for serving legal documents, and the right to challenge jurisdiction under the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) of England and Wales. This analysis navigates through the court’s application of these procedural rules and explicates the legal principles that underpin the Master’s judgment.

Key Facts

Stuart Lunn, the claimant, sought to bring an action against Antarctic Logistics Centre International (Pty) Ltd, the defendant, concerning an incident that resulted in injury while he was working in Antarctica. The case brings to the fore issues relating to the service of claim forms marked “Not for Service Out of the Jurisdiction” and the deadlines applicable to challenging jurisdiction.

Service and Time Extension for Claim Forms

A pivotal issue discussed in the case is whether a claim form marked “Not for service out of the jurisdiction” should be treated as for service within the jurisdiction, thereby requiring service within four months under CPR 7.5, or whether it could be served out of the jurisdiction within six months. The Master dismissed the defendant’s argument relying on American Leisure Group Ltd v Garrard [2014] EWCH 2101 (Ch), holding instead that precedent from Anderton v Clwyd CC [2002] EWCA Civ 933 and Nesheim v Kosa [2006] EWHC 2710 (Ch) clarified that there’s no requirement for an application for permission to serve out of the jurisdiction to be made within four months of the claim form issue. Furthermore, the Master confirmed the propriety of extending the time for service of the Claim Form.

Jurisdictional Challenge

For the effective challenge of jurisdiction, the defendant was required to acknowledge service and make an application challenging jurisdiction within specified time limits under CPR Part 11. The Master found that CPR 6.37(5) was not adequately complied with as the court had failed to provide specific time limits within which the defendant was to respond. This oversight was significant, given the stringent consequences for failing to challenge jurisdiction within the time limits set by CPR Part 11, as delineated in Hoddinott v Persimmon Homes (Wessex) Ltd [2008] 1 W.L.R. 806.

Relief from Sanctions and Late Submission of Evidence

The Master considered whether to grant relief from sanctions to the defendant for late submission of a witness statement. While likening the principles of Denton and Others v T H White Limited [2014] 1 WLR 392, the Master determined that the Defendant’s late service of its evidence was not significant or serious enough to warrant denial. Especially pertinent was the reason for the delay, which was the witness’s severe illness, deeming it a ‘good reason’ for the breach per Mitchell v NGN [2013] EWCA Civ 1537.


The court permitted the Defendant to challenge jurisdiction and did not penalize the Defendant for procedural shortcomings due to the Claimant’s failure to provide all necessary materials or materials in the correct form upon serving the order. The Defendant was also granted permission to rely on the late-submitted witness statement given the reasonable explanation for the delay and lack of significant prejudice to the Claimant.


In Stuart Lunn v Antarctic Logistics Centre International (Pty) Ltd, the court reaffirmed the importance of compliance with CPR when serving claim forms and highlighted the consequences of failing to accurately fulfil these requirements. This case elucidates the obligations on parties in international litigation as well as the discretion enjoyed by the court in ensuring that justice is delivered without a rigid adherence to procedural formalities that may cause unnecessary prejudice, particularly where a genuine reason for delay is presented. The Master’s judgment represents a diligent balancing act between procedural adherence and equitable consideration.