Late amendments to statements of case—the court's approach
Late amendments to statements of case—the court's approach

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

  • Late amendments to statements of case—the court's approach
  • Late amendments
  • What is considered to be a ‘very late’ amendment?
  • Distinction between 'late' and 'very late' applications to amend
  • At what stage does the court consider whether the amendment is 'late'?
  • Amending after the judgment has been handed down
  • Amending during an appeal

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.

Late amendments

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