SITA v Watson Wyatt and Maxwell Batley (Part 20 Defendant) (2002)

The case concerned alleged negligent advice given by Watson Wyatt (WW) to SITA which caused them to incur additional liabilities. Maxwell Batley (MB) were engaged by SITA to draft the agreement giving rise to these liabilities.

SITA sued WW but not MB, who were brought in as Part 20 defendants. SITA and WW set up a mediation to which MB were also invited on several occasion but they declined to attend.

SITA were successful in the mediation with WW to the extent of $35m. However in the subsequent Part 20 proceedings by WW against MB, WW lost.

WW attempted to get the costs of MB dismissed as they had refused on three occasions to mediate but the Judge refused. However MB were not allowed their costs on an indemnity basis.

The judge considered that the invitation to mediate was made at short notice in an effort to "dragoon, browbeat and bully" and was a litigation tactic rather than one genuinely intended to seek settlement.


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