Litigation Update: Forthcoming CPR Changes

Since their introduction, the much discussed ‘Jackson reforms’ have led to widespread debate and no small amount of criticism, much of it resulting from the effect of the Court of Appeal’s decision in Mitchell v News Group.

Critics argue that the reforms, and the court’s strict interpretation of the rules, have led to a litigation climate in which both sides to a claim have become increasingly secretive and sought to exploit even the most minor of procedural breaches. An unintended consequence has led to a less open and communicative approach.

This in turn has led to the (surely undesirable) consequence of increased applications to court to either impose or seek relief from sanctions.

In an attempt to address this, the Civil Procedure Rules are to be amended to allow parties to agree an extension of time for serving certain documents up to 28 days, without the need to make an application to court. Whether this results in increased cooperation remains to be seen, as seeking an extension of time could simply alert the opponent to difficulties with compliance and they may choose to take advantage of this.

For a link to the full story in the Law Society Gazette, please click here

Paul Sagar, Solicitor, Lender Services