Practitioners and court users should note that a revised PD27A will come into effect on 23rd July 2018.
The bundle practice direction remains largely unchanged, however there are some significant amendments which relate in particular to a new page limit being imposed on certain categories of documents by the new para. 5.2A. The limits are as follows:
5.2A.1 Unless the court has specifically directed otherwise, being satisfied that such direction is necessary to enable the proceedings to be disposed of justly, and subject to paragraph 5.2A.2 below, any of the following documents included in the bundle shall be limited to no more than the number of sheets of A4 paper and sides of text specified below:
Plainly, permission may be given for documents to exceed this length where necessary to enable the proceedings to be disposed of justly. What is not clear, however, is whether such permission should be sought in advance of the document being prepared and filed, or whether permission can operate retrospectively. How will parties know in advance how long the as-yet unprepared document is likely to be? What will be the effect of a refusal to grant retrospective permission for a statement or report to exceed the stated page limit? Will the statement or report be excluded altogether or will it need to be amended or redacted in some way? And how will the practice direction apply to documents which have already been filed in current proceedings which are not yet subject to the new rules? All remains to be seen.
Practitioners are reminded that experts will need to be informed in advance of the requirement that their report and executive summary not exceed 40 and 4 pages respectively.
Please also take note of the following:
Penalties for failure to comply with the practice direction
12.1 Failure to comply with any part of this practice direction may result in the judge removing the case from the list or putting the case further back in the list and may also result in a ‘wasted costs’ order or some other adverse costs order.
Don’t say you weren’t warned…
The revised Practice Direction can be found here and will be uploaded to our INFORMATION CENTRE in due course.