QBD approves settlement despite evidence of Capacity to Litigate
Settlement of cases involving borderline capacity can sometimes raise difficult issues. In a case heard in the Queen's Bench Division on 18th March 2019 the medical evidence suggested that the claimant had capacity to litigate, with appropriate help, but lacked the capacity to handle a large award of damages. The claimant thus appeared to be a protected beneficiary, but not a protected party under CPR 21.
The parties reached agreement on a settlement figure, but the defendant was concerned to ensure that the settlement was binding, and the Court of Protection had made no finding as to capacity. In order to achieve a settlement Master Thornett agreed to approve the settlement without determining the issue of capacity, applying the decision of Teare J. in the Admiralty Court in Coles v Perfect  EWHC 1955.