Trial witness statements in the Business and Property Courts under CPR PD 57AC

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

  • Trial witness statements in the Business and Property Courts under CPR PD 57AC
  • Introduction
  • Status of CPR PD 57AC
  • Meaning of ‘trial witness statement’
  • Does CPR PD 57AC apply to all proceedings in the Business and Property Courts?
  • Admiralty claims
  • Arbitration claims
  • Is a witness statement required at all?
  • Purpose and content of the witness statement
  • Matters to be included must be within personal knowledge of the witness
  • More...

Trial witness statements in the Business and Property Courts under CPR PD 57AC

Introduction

This Practice Note sets out the requirements for witness statements for use at trials in the Business and Property Courts that are signed on or after 6 April 2021. Such witness statements are subject to the requirements set out in CPR PD 57AC. The practice direction applies to both existing and new proceedings.

Evidence in a witness statement that is not a trial witness statement, as well as affidavits, are not affected by CPR PD 57AC (see CPR PD 57AC, para 1).

For a Checklist to aid legal representatives preparing a witness statement subject to CPR PD 57AC, see: Checklist for legal representatives—trial witness statements subject to CPR PD 57AC.

Status of CPR PD 57AC

CPR PD 57AC states explicitly that in the event of inconsistency between CPR PD 57AC and any other practice direction the provisions of CPR PD 57AC will prevail (CPR PD 57AC, para 1.5).

Trial witness statements in the Business and Property Courts must also comply with the Statement of Best Practice, which is the appendix to CPR PD 57AC, as well as with any applicable court guide. The Statement of Best Practice takes precedence over any court guide where there are inconsistencies (CPR PD 57AC, para 3.4).

Meaning of ‘trial witness statement’

‘Trial’ is defined for this purpose as a final trial hearing, whether

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