Dispute Resolution At A Glance Guide 2. The English Civil Procedure Rules The Woolf Reforms

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1 Dispute Resolution At A Glance Guide 2 The English Civil Procedure Rules The Woolf Reforms

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3 The English Civil Procedure Rules Contents Section: Page No. 1. Introduction 2 2. Summary 3 3. Civil Procedure Rules: 4 (A) Overriding Objective 4 (B) Case Management Procedure 4 (C) The Three Tracks 8 (D) Disclosure 12 (E) Expert Evidence 13 (F) Payments into Court/Claimants offer to settle Pre-Action Protocols Appendices: Appendix 1 - Case Management Procedure 21 Appendix 2 - The Three Tracks 22 Whilst care has been taken in the preparation of this guide, the matters referred to herein are subject to change and no liability or responsibility is accepted by anyone for any errors or omissions which may exist in it.the contents of this booklet are descriptive only and should not be used as a substitute for legal advice.

4 1. Introduction Effective date On 26 April 1999, the existing Court Rules and Procedures in England and Wales were abolished and replaced by an entirely new set of Civil Procedure Rules. These new Rules have been written in plain English and, although not as detailed as the previous Rules, are supported by comprehensive Practice Directions, new Court Forms and Pre-Action Protocols. Overriding Objective The overriding objective of the Rules is to enable the court to deal with cases justly and to reduce the costs and delays inherent in the previous system. To achieve this objective they encourage greater disclosure of information prior to proceedings being issued, segregate claims into three separate groups or tracks and place the duties of case management firmly in the hands of the Judges rather than the parties. This approach is intended to create a new culture of cost effective justice. Specialist Jurisdictions Commercial, Mercantile and Admiralty Courts The Rules apply to all proceedings, including specialist jurisdictions such as Commercial, Mercantile and Admiralty Courts, save where their own Rules specifically apply. These Rules are set out in Parts 58, 59 and 61 of the Rules. Conclusion These Rules have benefited users of the English courts and, although there will no doubt still be some further satellite litigation in relation to interpretation, experienced practitioners are now aware of the court's general attitude towards the most widely used parts of the Rules. 2

5 The English Civil Procedure Rules 2. Summary The major changes which have been brought about by the new Rules are: 1. The overriding objective is that cases will be dealt with justly, taking into account value, importance and complexity. 2. Disclosure of information and documentation is encouraged prior to proceedings being issued. Parties may face sanctions if they act unreasonably. 3. The progress of litigation has been speeded up. Unmeritorious claims are weeded out at an early stage, but defendants still incur legal costs in so doing. 4. Alternative Dispute Resolution (e.g. mediation) is actively encouraged. 5. A fast track system has been created for claims worth between 5,000 and 15,000. These claims are to proceed to trial within 30 weeks of being allocated to the fast track. 6. The number of documents to be disclosed is, in general, reduced and is proportionate to the size of the claim. 7. Expert reports are to be directed to the court rather than to the parties. The court will often order a single joint expert report, especially in fast track claims or in relatively non-contentious areas of the claim. 8. Claimants are able to make offers to settle which could have serious interest and costs consequences for the defendant. These Rules have been successful to the extent that more cases are now settling either before proceedings are issued or before the case comes to trial. The level of costs incurred on relatively small claims is still quite high due to the fact that litigation has become "front-end loaded". Money has to be spent collecting evidence, for example taking statements and analysing ISM Code documents upon receipt of protocol documents rather than waiting until proceedings are issued. The next stage may well be to introduce a regime of fixed costs for all fast track cases. 3

6 3. Civil Procedure Rules A. Overriding Objective The overriding objective of these Rules is to enable the courts to deal with cases justly. Dealing with a case justly includes, so far as is practicable: (a) ensuring that the parties are on an equal footing; (b) saving expense; (c) dealing with the case in ways which are proportionate (i) to the amount of money involved; (ii) to the importance of the case; (iii) to the complexity of the issues; and (iv) to the financial position of each party; (d) ensuring that it is dealt with expeditiously and fairly; and (e) allotting to it an appropriate share of the court s resources, while taking into account the need to allot resources to other cases. The court will take into account the overriding objective whenever it makes any decision on a case. B. Case Management Procedure 1. Which Court? To be issued in the High Court a claim must be worth 15,000 or have special circumstances or need to go into a specialist list, such as Admiralty. However, no personal injury claim can be issued in the High Court unless it is worth 50,000. 4

7 The English Civil Procedure Rules 2. Claim Form All claims should be started on a single claim form with appropriate variations. The claim form must contain a concise statement of the nature of the claim, specify the remedy that the claimant seeks and, if he is making a claim for money, contain a statement of value as well as such other matters as may be set out in a relevant Practice Direction. 3. Particulars of Claim These are fully pleaded details of the claim which may be served either with the claim form or within 14 days thereafter. The claim form and the particulars of claim, if served, separately must be endorsed with a statement of truth. This states that the claimant believes that the facts stated in the documents are true. That statement must be signed by either the claimant or his legal representative. This will enable the particulars of claims themselves to be used as evidence at either an interlocutory hearing or at trial. If the claimant is found to be in breach of the statement of truth, then he can be held in contempt of court. 4. Defence An acknowledgement of service should be served within 14 days and a defence within 28 days of receipt of the particulars of claim, unless the parties agree to an extension. If the defendant wants an extension of over 28 days then he must apply to the court. The defence must state which allegations the defendant denies, which he admits and which he cannot admit or deny but the claimant has to prove. If the defendant denies an allegation he must state his reasons for doing so. If he wishes to put forward a different version of events then this version must be contained within his defence. If appropriate he must also dispute the claimant s statement of value. In his defence, if he is able, he must give his own statement of value. The defence must also contain a statement that the facts contained in it are true. This must be signed by either the defendant or his legal representative. 5. Personal Injury Claims In these claims the claimant must attach a medical report and a schedule of details of any past and future expenses and losses to his particulars of claim. 5

8 The defendant must state in his defence whether he agrees, disputes or has no knowledge of the matters contained in the medical report. If he disputes any part of the report, he must state reasons for so doing in his defence. If he has obtained his own medical report, it must be attached to his defence. The defendant must also include in his defence (or attach to it) a counter-schedule agreeing, disputing or claiming no knowledge of the matters set out in the claimant s schedule of losses. Where items are disputed, alternative figures should be supplied. The normal approach is to state that the defendant is unable to admit or deny the claimant's injuries until it has obtained its own medical evidence and to state that no counter-schedule can be provided until documentary evidence has been provided in support of the matters set out in the claimant's schedule of losses. This is because defendants are often unwilling to incur the costs of a medical examination until proceedings have been issued as it is only after issue that they know that they will be able to recover their costs if their defence is successful. Further, claimants are often unwilling to provide evidence to support their schedule of losses until a defendant has admitted liability. 6. The Court s Case Management Powers These will be triggered by the filing of a defence. The court will consider the particulars of claim and defence and may of its own motion decide to strike out part, or all of the claim or the defence if they disclose no reasonable grounds for bringing or defending a claim. In the alternative, the court may give summary judgment against a claimant or defendant or fix a summary judgment hearing in order to consider the matter with the parties. If the court decides that the particulars of claim and defence show reasonable grounds for continuing with the claim, and once all defendants have served a defence or the time for so doing has expired, the court will serve an allocation questionnaire on all parties. This asks the parties to state which track (see below) is most suitable, whether the parties have complied with any pre-action protocols (see below), for details of factual and expert witnesses, an estimate of trial length and an estimate of costs to date and of total costs. The parties will be given at least 14 days to reply to the questionnaire. The court will consider the responses when deciding to which track the case should be allocated. If the choice of track is not straightforward, the court may decide to hold an allocation hearing. In straightforward cases, a notice of allocation will be sent out which will state the track to which the case has been allocated and, if the parties have requested different tracks, provide brief reasons for the decision. 6

9 The English Civil Procedure Rules 7. Alternative Dispute Resolutions The allocation questionnaire contains a section enabling a party to request proceedings to be stayed to enable the parties to enter into settlement negotiations. If all parties make such a request or the court on its own initiative considers that a stay would be appropriate in order to encourage mediation, then the court will direct that the proceedings be stayed for one month. This period can be extended by the court for such period as appears appropriate and if the matter has not been settled by the end of this period, then the court will give directions for the management of the case. In addition, a stay may be requested after exchange of documents on the basis that it is only at that stage that the parties will be able to enter into settlement discussions. A major objective is to encourage parties to use alternative dispute resolution procedures, including mediation. (See Dispute Resolution At a Glance 3 - Mediation). 8. Amendments Pleadings may be amended either by consent or with the permission of the court. 9. Summary Judgment The test for summary judgment has been altered from no defence to a claim to no real prospect of success at trial. This makes it easier to obtain summary judgment. 10. Sanctions If a party has failed to comply with a Rule, Practice Direction or court order any sanction imposed by the Rule, Practice Direction or court order has immediate effect, unless the party in default applies for and obtains relief from the sanction. Further, if during the course of proceedings a party is ordered to pay another party's costs then these costs will immediately be assessed and must be paid within 14 days. 11. Application Notice An application notice replaces the High Court summons and county court application. The application may contain a statement of truth. The applicant may rely on the matters set out in the application as evidence. Alternatively, if written evidence in support is necessary, this should be served at the same time as the application notice. The applicant should bring a draft proposed order to the hearing. 7

10 The parties can either attend before the court on the application or, if both parties agree and are legally represented, hold a telephone hearing. In either situation, a person familiar with the case is expected to attend the application. In our experience, the attitude of District judges varies from court to court. Certain courts have no objection to the solicitor for one defendant acting as an agent for another defendant in order to save time and costs. Alternatively, the parties may agree that the court deal with the application on the basis of the documents alone, or the court may decide to do this on its own initiative. A diagram of the case management procedure is set out at Appendix 1. C. The Three Tracks 1. Jurisdiction (a) Small claims track - For most claims, the previous limit of 3,000 has been increased to 5,000. For personal injury claims, the limit of 1,000 for damages for pain and suffering remains. (b) Fast track - This is the normal track for claims that have a financial value of more than 5,000 but less than 15,000. It is likely that in the future the 15,000 limit will be increased. For personal injury claims this is the track for any claim where the value of general damages for personal injury is more than 1,000 but the overall value is less than 15,000. (c) Multi-track - This deals with all claims exceeding 15,000 and any claims where the small claims track or the fast track is not appropriate. When assessing the financial value of a claim the court will disregard any allegations of contributory negligence as well as any claim for interest and costs. As well as the financial limits, a court may also take into account the likely complexity of the facts, law or evidence and the general importance of the case to enable it to decide whether a case should be removed from the two lower tracks and put into the multi-track, e.g. low value industrial disease cases normally go into the multi-track. In addition, if at trial a case is likely to last for longer than one day then the case will be dealt with in the multi-track. 8

11 The English Civil Procedure Rules 2. Procedure (a) Small claims track - On allocation, the court will generally give standard directions and fix a hearing date immediately. The standard directions are that 14 days before the date of trial, each party shall serve on the other party copies of all documents on which he intends to rely at the trial. The court will give the parties at least 21 days notice of the date fixed for the hearing. (b) Fast track - On allocation, the court will send out a notice of allocation which will include directions for the management of the case and provide a trial date or trial period (not exceeding 4 weeks) in which the trial is likely to take place. The standard period between the giving of the directions and the trial will be not more than 30 weeks. The directions will include requirements as to disclosure of documents, service of witness statements and expert evidence. The court will give directions for a single joint expert to be appointed, unless there is a good reason not to do so. Where the parties have their own experts, the court will direct that there will be a meeting between the experts in an attempt to identify the matters in issue. The notice of allocation will provide a date by which the parties must complete the listing questionnaire which will not be more than 8 weeks before the trial date/period. Upon receipt of the completed questionnaire the court will either fix or confirm the trial date and give any further directions which it considers appropriate. The court will normally give the parties at least 3 weeks notice of the date of the trial. A typical (cumulative) timetable for the preparation of a case will be as follows: Disclosure Exchange of witness statements Exchange of experts reports Sending of listing questionnaires by the court Filing of completed listing questionnaires Trial 4 weeks 10 weeks 14 weeks 20 weeks 22 weeks 30 weeks These periods will run from the date of the notice of allocation. 9

12 (c) Multi-track - Because this track has to deal with cases of widely differing values and complexity, the court has been given the flexibility to manage each case in a way appropriate to its own particular needs. Therefore, upon allocation to the multi-track, the court can either send out a notice of allocation similar to that in the fast track or it can give directions to be followed by a case management conference. In more complicated cases, it can immediately direct that a case management conference shall be held where the issues in the case can be discussed and a timetable set leading up to trial. No matter which approach is adopted, the court will seek to set a trial date/period as soon as possible. The parties can suggest agreed directions including a trial date/period and, if these are suitable, the court may approve them without a hearing. As in the fast track, the court will send out a listing questionnaire which has to be filed not later than 8 weeks before the trial date/period. If a party fails to return the completed questionnaire by the specified date, or fails to include all information requested, the court may fix a listing hearing. Upon receipt of a completed listing questionnaire, the court may decide to hold a pre-trial review at which time, if necessary, further directions will be given and the trial date/period confirmed. A diagrammatic representation of these procedures is at Appendix Conduct of the Trial (a) Small claims track - The court may adopt any method of proceeding at the hearing that it considers to be fair, the hearing will be informal and strict rules of evidence will not apply. The court need not take evidence on oath and may limit cross-examination. If the parties agree, the court may deal with the claim without the parties having to attend to give evidence, i.e. on the basis of the documents only. The court must give reasons for its decision. (b) Fast track - The trial will be conducted in a formal manner in accordance with the normal rules of evidence, save that the number of experts and ability of experts to give oral evidence will be in accordance with the court s previous orders. Cases should normally be completed within three hours but if appropriate may last up to one day. (c) Multi-track - The trial will be conducted in a formal manner in accordance with the normal rules of evidence. 10

13 The English Civil Procedure Rules 4. Costs (a) Small claims track - The only costs recoverable are the fixed costs payable on issuing the claim, court fees, accommodation and travel expenses and a maximum of 50 per day towards loss of earnings of a party or witness and a maximum fee of 200 for an expert s report. (b) Fast track - The costs of proceedings prior to trial are assessed on the same basis as in the multi-track. However, a specific fixed costs regime has been introduced for the costs of a party s advocate preparing for and attending trial. This consists of: Value of the Claim Level of Fast Track Trial Costs Up to 3, More than 3,000 but not more than 10, More than 10, The court may in limited circumstances award more or less than these amounts. If it can be shown that it was necessary for a legal representative to attend the trial to assist the advocate, then the court may award an additional 250 in respect of his attendance. (c) Multi-track - Costs were previously described as being taxed (formally assessed by the court). The term has been replaced by either a summary assessment or a detailed assessment of the costs. Summary assessment is where the court, when making an order for costs, orders a party to pay a specific sum of money rather than ordering a detailed assessment. Therefore, on an application, the court is likely to make a summary assessment of the costs immediately after the application. The party who has been ordered to pay these costs then has 14 days in which to pay them. A detailed assessment is a procedure by which the amount of costs is decided by a costs officer. He will assess costs on the standard basis or on the indemnity basis but he will not, in either case, award costs which have been unreasonably incurred or are unreasonable in amount. The emphasis is on allowing only those costs which are proportionate to the matters in issue. If a claimant succeeds, he will not necessarily recover all of his costs or avoid having to pay some of the defendant's costs. The court can disallow costs on unsuccessful issues raised by either party. 11

14 D. Disclosure This is the new description for discovery of documents. A party in his list of documents is now obliged to give standard disclosure and provide a disclosure statement. The court may order that standard disclosure is either limited or expanded in appropriate cases and a party still retains the right to make an application for specific disclosure or specific inspection. 1. Standard Disclosure This consists of: (a) The documents on which a party relies; and (b) The documents which (i) adversely affect his own case; (ii) adversely affect another party s case; or (iii) support another party s case; and (c) The documents which he is required to disclose by a relevant Practice Direction. 2. Disclosure Statement A party is required to make a reasonable search for documents. In order to determine whether the search is reasonable, the court will consider the number of documents involved, the nature and complexity of the proceedings, the significance of the document and the ease and expense of its retrieval. A party must certify in a disclosure statement that he understands the duty to disclose the documents and to the best of his knowledge he has carried out that duty. The statement must also specify any types of documents which he did not attempt to find for proportionality reasons and give an explanation as to why these limitations were adopted, e.g. difficulty or expense of search, marginal relevance of documents, etc. 12

15 The English Civil Procedure Rules A party must set out details of documents which he knows exist, but which he believes it would be disproportionate to be required to disclose in relation to the issues of the case. 3. Specific Disclosure If a party believes that disclosure is inadequate then he may make an application for specific disclosure which must be supported by evidence. The court will take account of all the circumstances of the case and the overriding objective in reaching a decision. 4. Specific Inspection This is an application to inspect the documents in another party s list which that party states do not need to be disclosed as to do so would be disproportionate to the issues of the case. The court will adopt a costs/benefit analysis. In a large claim the court may order a party to disclose more documents than would be required in a smaller claim. 5. Conclusion The old test to determine whether documents were disclosable was an objective test (the documents which related to the matters in issue). This has been replaced by a test which is part objective and part subjective. The hope is that this will avoid the need to disclose the multitude of documents which are related to the matter in issue, but not directly relevant. The key phrase in disclosure is proportionality so it is quite possible that in two cases with similar facts the court may come to two different decisions as to the documents to be disclosed, if one case is worth far less than the other. E. Expert Evidence The new Rules will require the courts to restrict expert evidence to that which is reasonably required to resolve the proceedings and, if possible, to require that evidence to be given by a single expert. 13

16 In order to ensure that an expert s evidence is wholly impartial, the following rules have been put in place: (a) An expert s report should be addressed to the court and not to the party from whom the expert has received his instructions. The overriding duty of the expert is to help the court on matters within his expertise. His report must contain a statement that he understands his duty to the court and has complied with that duty. (b) When there is a range of opinion on the matters dealt with in his report he must summarise the range of opinion and give reasons for his own opinion. (c) His report must contain a statement setting out the substance of all material instructions whether written or oral. The statement should summarise the facts and instructions given to the expert which are material to the opinions expressed in the report or upon which those opinions are based. The court will not normally order disclosure of those instructions or permit the expert to be cross-examined in relation to them, unless it is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds to consider the statement of instructions given to be inaccurate or incomplete. (d) The expert may, without giving notice to any party, file a written request for directions from the court to assist him in carrying out his function as an expert. (e) An expert s report must be verified by a statement of truth which should say: I believe that the facts I have stated in this report are true and that the opinions I have expressed are correct. If this is found not to be correct, then the expert can be held to be in contempt of court. The court has the following powers in relation to expert evidence:- (a) No party can rely upon expert evidence without the court s permission and an application for permission must state the field in which expert evidence is necessary and where practicable the actual expert on whose evidence he wishes to rely. (b) Expert evidence must be given in a written report, unless the court directs otherwise. In the fast track the court will not direct an expert to attend a hearing unless it is necessary to do so in the interests of justice. 14 (c) Once an expert report has been disclosed by one party, it may be relied upon by another party as evidence at trial. The court may direct that evidence is to be given by a single joint expert. The expert should be chosen either by agreement between the parties or by the court. The court can select an expert from a list prepared by the parties or direct that the expert be selected in such other manner as it may see fit.

17 The English Civil Procedure Rules (d) When a single joint expert is instructed, each party may give instructions to the expert but must at the same time send a copy of his instructions to the other party. Unless the court otherwise directs, the instructing parties are jointly and severally liable for payment of his fees. (e) A party may put written questions to an expert instructed by another party or to a single joint expert within 28 days of the service of the expert s report. These questions must be for the purpose only of clarification of the report and the expert s answers to the questions are treated as part of his report. If one party s expert refuses to answer the other party s questions, then the court may order that either the instructing party may not rely upon the evidence of that expert or that he cannot recover the fees of that expert from the other party. (f) The court may at any stage, and inevitably does, direct that there be discussions between two parties experts for the purpose of identifying the matters in issue. The court usually also orders that the experts prepare a statement showing the issues on which they agree and those issues on which they disagree and a summary of their reasons for disagreeing. The content of the discussion between the experts shall not be referred to at trial unless the parties agree. (g) A party who fails to disclose an expert s report may not use the report at trial or call the expert to give oral evidence without the court s permission. (h) The court has the power to appoint assessors to assist in considering complicated expert evidence. In our experience the court normally allows parties to instruct their own experts on large or complex claims but insists on a single joint expert in other cases. A party can in limited circumstances obtain leave to obtain his own expert s report if there are good reasons for not accepting the single joint expert's report. However, it may be necessary to provide a draft version of the proposed new expert's report to the court and the court will take into account a variety of factors including the value and complexity of the claim in deciding whether the party can rely on it. F. Payments into Court/Claimants Offers to Settle 1. Introduction The general rule on costs is that the unsuccessful party will be ordered to pay the costs of the successful party. The old Rules allowed a defendant to make a payment into court and if a claimant failed to beat the payment into court, then the claimant would have to pay the 15

18 defendant s costs from the date of the payment into court. These Rules continue with this procedure but also allow the claimant to make an offer to settle which has both interest and costs consequences if it is not accepted and the claimant recovers more at trial. 2. Defendants Part 36 Payment A Part 36 payment is another way of describing a payment into court. The new Rules are very similar to the former Rules. 3. Defendants Part 36 Offer This replaces a defendant s existing right to make a Calderbank offer and specifies the circumstances in which an offer can be made. It will not normally provide a defendant with any protection on costs in any claim where he could have made a Part 36 payment. However, the court will take a defendant s Part 36 offer into account if it is made either before proceedings are issued or before the defendant has received a certificate of recoverable benefits (personal injury claims only) as long as a Part 36 payment is made within 14 days of proceedings being issued and within 7 days of receipt of a certificate of recoverable benefits. 4. Claimants Part 36 Offer A major change implemented by the Rules is the ability of the claimant to make a Part 36 offer. The claimant will write to the defendant stating that he is prepared to accept a certain sum of money plus costs in full and final settlement of his claim. The defendant then has a period of 21 days in which to consider and accept the offer. If the claimant s Part 36 offer is rejected and, at trial, he does better than his offer, then the court may order the defendant to pay interest on the whole or part of any sum of money (excluding interest) awarded to the claimant at a rate not exceeding 10% above base rate for some or all of the period starting with the 22nd day after the offer was made. In addition, the court may also order that the claimant is entitled to his costs on the indemnity basis from the same date and interest on those costs at a rate not exceeding 10% above base rate. 16

19 The English Civil Procedure Rules Therefore, if the defendant rejects the claimant s offer to settle for 60,000 two years before the trial was rejected and at the trial he recovered more than 60,000 - say 65,000 - then he will be entitled to interest at up to 15.5% (base rate of 5.5%) for that two year period. This amounts to a possible additional payment by the defendant of 20,150 as well as the prospect of paying costs for the previous two years on the indemnity basis. The courts have shown that they are prepared to take into account whether either party had sufficient information to enable them realistically to accept either a Part 36 offer or payment. Therefore, in the above example, if it was not until 6 months before trial that the claimant disclosed evidence in support of his offer of 60,000 then a court is likely to order that he will only be entitled to interest up to 15.5% for that final 6 month period. This reduces the possible additional payment by the defendant to 5,038 and in addition he is likely to be ordered to pay costs only for the last 6 months on the indemnity basis. 17

20 4. Pre-action Protocols 1. Aim The aim of these protocols is to encourage more pre-action contact between the parties, better and earlier investigation and exchange of information and to put the parties in a position where they can settle cases at a fairly early stage without litigation. In addition, if litigation does become necessary, then the fact that these protocols have been followed will hasten the progress of the litigation. 2. Sanctions The court will take into account whether or not a party has complied with the protocol when giving directions for the management of proceedings. The party at fault may be ordered to pay all or part of the costs of the proceedings and may be ordered to pay these costs on an indemnity basis. Further, if the claimant is at fault then he may be deprived of interest for a specified period and/or awarded interest at a lower rate. If the defendant is at fault, then he may be ordered to pay the claimant interest at a higher rate, not exceeding 10% above the base rate at which interest would otherwise have been awarded. 3. Scope At present six protocols have been issued: the Personal Injury Protocol; the Clinical Disputes Protocol; the Construction and Engineering Disputes Protocol; the Professional Negligence Protocol; the Protocol for Judicial Review and the Protocol for Defamation Claims. Several other protocols are currently being considered and a Protocol for Industrial Disease Claims will be in place by the end of However, even if a protocol does not specifically apply to a particular claim, the court will still expect the parties to act reasonably in exchanging information and documents relevant to the claim at an early stage and generally try to avoid the necessity for commencing proceedings. In all cases, the court will adopt a strict approach to a party who has not acted reasonably prior to proceedings being issued. As an example of the court s approach to pre-action disclosure, we set out below brief details of the Personal Injury Protocol which is primarily designed for straightforward 18

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