Order of play and trial timetables

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

  • Order of play and trial timetables
  • Coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • Order of play in the multi-track and fast track
  • A typical civil trial
  • Trial timetables
  • Chancery Division
  • Circuit Commercial Court
  • Commercial Court
  • Queen's Bench Division
  • Technology and Construction Court
  • More...

Order of play and trial timetables

For claims proceedings under the capped costs list pilot scheme is in the Business and Property Courts, the pilot scheme provides specific guidance on how the trial will be managed. For guidance, see Practice Note: Business and Property Courts—Capped Costs List pilot scheme.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The guidance detailing normal practice set out in this Practice Note may be affected by measures concerning process and procedure in the civil courts that have been introduced as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. For more information, see Practice Note: Coronavirus (COVID-19) implications for dispute resolution, in particular the section on Attending hearings.

Order of play in the multi-track and fast track

The judge will usually have read the papers and may wish to dispense with an opening address. When acting for the claimant the easiest way to proceed is for the advocate to ask the judge whether he has had an opportunity to read the papers (and, where relevant, skeleton arguments) and whether he would like the advocate to open the case.

The order of play may depend on the track in which the case is proceeding and/or the venue but the following is a typical order of play for a trial:

  1. claimant’s opening

  2. defendant’s/other parties’ opening

  3. examination-in-chief of claimant’s witnesses, if permitted

  4. cross-examination of claimant’s witnesses

  5. re-examination of claimant’s witnesses

  6. examination-in-chief of defendant’s witnesses, if

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