Agreements to extend time—buffer agreements
Agreements to extend time—buffer agreements

The following Dispute Resolution guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Agreements to extend time—buffer agreements
  • Agreeing an extension of time under CPR 3.8(4)
  • When should you agree an extension of time under CPR 3.8(4)
  • Examples of where buffer agreements may be used
  • Circumstances where a buffer agreement may not be appropriate
  • Background to the introduction of CPR 3.8(4)

This Practice Note should be read in conjunction with: Making an application, Relief from sanctions—the application, Relief from sanctions—when (and when not) to use and Interim applications—costs recovery. For information on the background to the introduction of CPR 3.8(4), see below.

Agreeing an extension of time under CPR 3.8(4)

The intention of CPR 3.8(4) was to 'soften' the effect of CPR 3.8 which, until 5 June 2014, had prevented the parties from extending, by agreement, certain deadlines without the court's approval.

Before agreeing an extension of time under CPR 3.8(4), you should consider the following:

  1. when can such agreement be reached?—any agreement between the parties must be made 'by prior written agreement', ie the agreement must be reached in writing before the time to carry out the relevant procedural step has expired. It is not possible to enter into a retrospective agreement with the other side. The timing of approaching the other side to reach an agreement to extend time is therefore key

  2. what criteria do I need to consider?—it is important to be aware that the provisions in CPR 3.8(3) need to apply to be able to reach any agreement under CPR 3.8(4). You, therefore, need to ensure that the procedural step for which you are seeking agreement to extend time:

    1. is subject to a deadline which is set out