Planning witness evidence and choosing witnesses

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

  • Planning witness evidence and choosing witnesses
  • Importance of planning witness evidence early
  • Choosing the right factual witnesses
  • Vulnerable witnesses
  • When should a person be considered vulnerable ?
  • Witness evidence required for trial
  • SRA regulatory regime
  • Business and Property Court claims
  • Court specific guidance

Planning witness evidence and choosing witnesses

This Practice Note provides guidance on the interpretation and application of the relevant provisions of the CPR. Depending on the court in which your matter is proceeding, you may also need to be mindful of additional provisions—see further below.

In this Practice Note, we address issues relating to factual witness statements under CPR 32 including the importance of planning witness evidence early and the potential uses of witness statements, choosing the most appropriate witnesses to give evidence, how to decide on the factual evidence needed for trial, as well as special considerations regarding vulnerable witnesses.

Note: this Practice Note considers factual witness statements for the purpose of trial rather than for interim applications. For guidance on drafting a witness statement for a specific application, see also Practice Note: Witness statements for specific applications.

For guidance on trial witness statements in the Business and Property Courts, see Practice Note: Trial witness statements in the Business and Property Courts under CPR PD 57AC.

This Practice Note should be read in conjunction with Practice Note: Courts’ power to manage factual evidence which provides guidance on the courts’ power to manage evidence under CPR 32.1 and 32.2(3).

The following Practice Notes may also be of assistance:

  1. Witness statements—substantive content—which provides general guidance on drafting witness statements of fact under CPR 32 including what should be covered in factual

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