“SADLY, THIS IS AN ALL-TOO-COMMON FAILURE IN WITNESS STATMENTS PROVIDED IN CIVIL LITIGATION”

The comments of Mr Justice Murray today in Guest Supplies Intl Ltd v South Place Hotel Ltd & Anor [2020] EWHC 3307 (QB) repeat what has been mentioned numerous times on this blog.

 

“It will perhaps be seen from even this summary of Mr Emmerson’s evidence that much of his evidence is, in fact, comment and submission rather than factual evidence. Mr Trompeter drew my attention to the comments of Andrew Baker J in Skatteforvaltningen v Solo Capital Partners LLP [2020] EWHC 1624 (Comm) at [83] onwards, where the judge criticised the factual witness statements provided by both sides in relation to a summary judgment application for, to a substantial extent, being not witness evidence but argument. While similar criticisms could be made of Mr Emmerson’s evidence, they can also be made of Mr Aristodemou’s various witness statements and, to a lesser extent, of Mr Cohen’s second witness statement dated 19 May 2020 (but not Mr Georgiou’s witness statement dated 6 May 2020). Sadly, this is an all-too-common failure in witness statements provided in civil litigation.”