CPR changes—March and April 2020

CPR changes—March and April 2020

Various upcoming CPR changes are set out in the Civil Procedure (Amendment) Rules 2020, SI 2020/82 and come into force on 30 March 2020 and 6 April 2020. The amendments are relatively minor and technical in nature and cover six matters, namely the entry of default judgments, disclosure of Part 36 offers on appeal, authorisation of CILEX fellows to perform certain functions of the court, the operation of the Media and Communications (MAC) List, certain housing matters and the Legal Advisers Final Charging Order provisions.

The official version of the Civil Procedure (Amendment) Rules 2020 (the Rules) is available here.

When do the changes come into force?

The amendments made by the Rules to the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) come into force as follows:

  1. changes to Part 45 and Part 73—these come into force on 30 March 2020 (rule 1(2))
  2. the remainder of the changes (namely to Part 12 and Parts 52–55)—these come into force on 6 April 2020 (rule 1(2))

Part 12—default judgment

CPR 12.3 is amended by rule 3 to allow an acknowledgment of service or a defence to be a bar to the entry of judgment in default where it is filed before judgment is entered. The amendment follows a limited consultation of judiciary, the legal profession and court users between 13 March 2019 and 3 May 2019. The amendment made is consistent with the majority of consultee’s views.

Part 52 and Part 54—CILEX Fellows

Amendments to Part 52 and Part 54 set out in rule 5(2) and rule 7 allow for court staff who are Fellows of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEX) (as well as those who are barristers or solicitors) to be able to be authorised to perform certain functions of the court that are permitted to be performed by legally qualified members of staff.

Part 52—disclosure of Part 36 offers on appeal

CPR 52.22 provides for non-disclosure of Part 36 offers on appeal, as well as on applications for permission to appeal. The amendment set out in rule 5(1) makes it clear that the appellate court may have a hearing of both substantive issues and costs issues, and that in such circumstances the usual restrictions on informing the court of a Part 36 offer (to settle the claim) are removed.

Part 53—Media and Communications (MAC) List

The amendment to CPR 53.2(2) set out in rule 6 concerns the operation of the MAC list in the High Court. The change makes it clear that the Judge in Charge of the MAC List will be nominated by the President of the Queen’s Bench Division. The amendment addresses observations made by the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments in its Second Report of Session 2019–20 and in drafting the amendment, the President of the Queen’s Bench Division and the Judge in Charge of the MAC List were duly consulted.

Part 55—housing matters

Rule 8 sets out amendments to CPR 55.11, which together with the substitution of a new streamlined CPR 52.12, remove demoted assured shorthold tenancies and oral tenancy agreement cases from the accelerated possession process. Both sorts of cases are now rare, and there is considered to be no justification for retaining them within the accelerated procedure.

Part 73 and Part 45—Legal Advisers Final Charging Order provisions

Provisions of the current pilot (contained in CPR PD 51T) are moved to business as usual by the amendments set out in rule 9. Consequential changes made to CPR 45.8 are set out in rule 4.

This analysis was first  published  on Lexis®PSL Dispute Resolution on 4 February 2020

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About the author:
Tina specialises in general domestic and international litigation. She deals primarily with cross border issues and is active in the work being undertaken in relation to the implications of Brexit for Dispute Resolution lawyers. Tina also maintains the LexisPSL appeals content.