Q&As

Does CPR PD 51ZA, which provides for parties to agree an extension of time for 56 days, apply to agreements to extend time for service of the defence? The practice direction does not make any reference to CPR 15.5.

read titleRead full title
Produced in partnership with David Peachey
Published on LexisPSL on 15/04/2020

The following Dispute Resolution Q&A produced in partnership with David Peachey provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Does CPR PD 51ZA, which provides for parties to agree an extension of time for 56 days, apply to agreements to extend time for service of the defence? The practice direction does not make any reference to CPR 15.5.

Does CPR PD 51ZA, which provides for parties to agree an extension of time for 56 days, apply to agreements to extend time for service of the defence? The practice direction does not make any reference to CPR 15.5.

Civil Procedure Rules contain two separate provisions relating to agreed extensions of time: CPR 3.8(4) gives a general permission to agree extensions, whereas CPR 15.5 relates specifically to the defence.

While this Q&A refers to ‘service’ of the defence, but the requirement in CPR 15.4 is to file the defence within the set period. There is no express time limit for service (CPR 15.6), although an unserved defence risks being struck out. Accordingly, the power to agree an extension of time under CPR 15.5 expressly relates only to filing of the defence, not to its service.

Therefore, the short answer to the question is that, regarding service of the defence, there is no time limit to be extended.

Where an extension is required for the preparation of the defence so that it can be served and filed, CPR PD 51ZA, para 2 is clear and specific. It allows extensions under CPR 3.8—but not under CPR 15.5—of up to 56 days.

This distinction is logical—the court knows when a claim was deemed served and therefore knows when to expect the defence. The requirement for a defence to be filed without delay

Popular documents