A litigant in person who alleged that a host of different lawyers engaged in a conspiracy against him has been issued a two-year civil restraint order
In Griffin t/a Simon Griffin Antiques v Brown & Ors Mrs Justice Falk struck out negligence claims against 13 law firms and barristers brought by Simon John Griffin following a one-day hearing earlier this month. The judge said claims of collusion and conspiracy by the defendants were ‘wholly fanciful’, based on no pleaded facts and should not have been made. She added that these proceedings were ‘fundamentally abusive’ and the latest in a series of claims or applications that were totally without merit.
‘Mr Griffin’s claim against these defendants is vexatious, as were the previous claims,’ she said. ‘The defendants and others are entitled to protection, and it is also necessary to limit further wasting of judicial and court resources on pointless litigation.’
The court heard that Griffin, who ran a London antiques shop, had instructed lawyers in relation to a dispute with his landlord dating from 2007. He was told by one firm it would be ‘very difficult’ to make out his proposed defence and counterclaim, but proceeded anyway. A barrister instructed in the case advised a negotiated settlement but the case went to trial in 2008 before His Honour Judge Dight. Griffin was unsuccessful.
He continued to instruct different lawyers over the years to pursue professional negligence claims, as well as making a complaint to the Office of Judicial Complaints. A first general civil restraint order was issued in 2013 and a further order granted by the court in 2017.
In the latest proceedings, Griffin alleged that his lawyers had wasted his time and money by not explaining the best course of action for having the Dight ruling set aside. Falk J said this course was ‘seriously misguided’.
She added: ‘The difficulty is that Mr Griffin will not take no for an answer, to the extent that the matter has become an obsession, and one from which those connected with it, including Mr Griffin himself, continue to need to be protected.’
In July this year a separate vexatious litigant was made subject of an order under Section 42 of the Senior Courts Act barring him from bringing proceedings in any civil or criminal court in England and Wales.