Q&As

A defendant has made an application to amend their defence in an EL Multi-track Claim. The claimant has made a Part 18 request for information but has not consented to the amendments. A cross-application was made by the claimant for a response to the Part 18 request and an extension of time to file a witness statement. Statements are due to be exchanged in the extended directions in two weeks’ time. The court has adjourned the hearing of both applications to an unknown date in the future. What happens in relation to witness evidence? If exchange does not occur within two weeks, will the claimant be in breach of the directions? What if the extension is refused?

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Produced in partnership with Jamie Gamble of No5 Barristers Chambers
Published on LexisPSL on 30/09/2020

The following PI & Clinical Negligence Q&A Produced in partnership with Jamie Gamble of No5 Barristers Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • A defendant has made an application to amend their defence in an EL Multi-track Claim. The claimant has made a Part 18 request for information but has not consented to the amendments. A cross-application was made by the claimant for a response to the Part 18 request and an extension of time to file a witness statement. Statements are due to be exchanged in the extended directions in two weeks’ time. The court has adjourned the hearing of both applications to an unknown date in the future. What happens in relation to witness evidence? If exchange does not occur within two weeks, will the claimant be in breach of the directions? What if the extension is refused?

At the crux of the issue posed by the question is the position of a party who fails to comply with a direction of the court but who has made an application to extend time for compliance prior to the deadline for that direction. In the situation described, the claimant will be in breach of the court order with respect to the exchange of witness statements within two weeks’ time as that order will not have been varied prior to that deadline. Generally, if a party is in breach of an order, they would need to apply for relief from sanctions under CPR 3.9 and the court would apply the three-stage test set out in Denton v TH White Ltd in considering whether to grant relief.

However, a party does not have

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