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This Practice Note considers late and very late applications to amend statements of case pursuant to CPR 17 and the court's approach to such applications. It should be read in conjunction with Practice Notes: Amending a statement of case—introduction, Amending a statement of case—permission to amend, Amending a statement of case—permission to amend, Amending a statement of case—logistics of effecting an amendment and Late amendments to statements of case—illustrative decisions.
The April 2013 Jackson reforms highlighted that late amendments to statements of case cause delay, additional stress and increased costs. The courts have, over the past few years, moved away from being more relaxed about late amendments. In CIP Properties v Galliford Try Infrastructure, the High Court stated that Peter Gibson LJ's approach in Cobbold v Greenwich LBC (1999 unreported) to the effect that '[a]mendments in general ought to be allowed so that the real dispute between the parties can be adjudicated upon provided that any prejudice to the other party or parties caused by the amendment can be compensated for in costs…' is no longer the right starting point.
In CIP Properties, Coulson J stated that the overriding objective is the starting point for any consideration by the court of late amendments. He continued that, as part of the Jackson reforms, the overriding objective was amended to
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