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Nicholas Bidnell-Edwards succeeded in upholding the EAT’s strict approach to time limits in the Court of Appeal

In Nicholson v. Royal Mail Group Ltd Case No: A2/2016/1002 the Appellant had sent all of the necessary documents to Fleetbank House, the building currently housing the EAT, prior to the expiry of the deadline. However, the Appellant had provided his documents to the Equality and Human Rights Commission (the “EHRC”), located in the same building, in order to receive legal advice. He had hoped that after they had reviewed his case they would simply deliver his documents to the EAT next door. They did not do so. Instead, they returned his documents to his home address. He was able to provide a copy of his grounds of appeal to the EAT in time, but the supporting documents were not provided until three weeks after the 42 day deadline.

Nicholas Bidnell-Edwards, sole counsel for the Respondent, resisted the appeal against the decision of the EAT on the bases that: i) the requirement to lodge supporting documents is as strictly enforced as the obligation to lodge a notice of appeal; ii) the Appellant had demonstrated the ability to send the right documents to the right building prior to the expiry of what he knew to be the time limit; and iii) the Appellant’s decision to rely on the EHRC to do something they could not reasonably be expected to do was not a good reason to explain the delay.