Imminent changes to the Civil Procedure Rules

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For litigators, the main changes to the CPR concern service outside of jurisdiction, the simplification of Practice Direction 16, and the incorporation of the disclosure pilot introduced in 2019.

Service outside of England and Wales

Amendments to rules 6.37 and 6.38 of Part 6 CPR will allow claimants to serve documents, aside from a Claim Form, outside of England and Wales without the Court’s permission in a prescribed set of circumstances.

These circumstances are:

  • where the Claim Form has previously been served on the defendant with the Court’s permission (so, a second application for permission is not required); or
  • where the Court’s permission is not or was not required to serve the Claim Form.

This amendment has been introduced to tidy-up the position in relation to service of additional documents outside of the jurisdiction following service of the Claim Form outside of the jurisdiction, to avoid the uncertainty and need for additional applications for permission, saving time and costs in those situations.

Simplification of Practice Direction 16 (PD16)

In an effort to simplify the language of the CPR, PD16 will be re-worded to a more concise format in relation to Statements of Case which will assist lay persons, and also benefit those who use the CPR more frequently. Additionally, any duplication within PD16 itself and other areas of the CPR generally will be removed.

Disclosure Pilot

From 1 October 2022, the disclosure pilot scheme will be incorporated into the CPR as part of Practice Direction 57AD (“PD57AD”). This applies to both new and existing proceedings in the Business and Property Courts of England and Wales only. It does not apply to cases in the Queens Bench Division or County Courts.

Whilst PD57AD replaces Practice Direction 51U, it is predominantly made up of the same content save for several specific changes such as the exclusion of CPR Part 8 from PD57AD and additional guidance in relation to pleading disclosure as a specific point within a Statement of Case.

It is important for litigators to familiarize themselves with these updated rules. The above commentary is by no means exhaustive but a highlighted summary only. Further details in relation to these and other amendments can be found here: Civil – Civil Procedure Rules (justice.gov.uk). If you have any questions about the new rules, please get in touch at c.povey@capitallaw.co.uk.