WITNESS STATEMENTS IN THE BUSINESS AND PROPERTY COURTS AFTER THE 6th APRIL 2021: THE DECLARATION THAT THE SOLICITOR HAS TO SIGN

One of the many requirements that come into force on the 6th April is the requirement for the solicitor to sign a declaration that the witness statement complies with the rules. This is not an obligation that can be taken lightly. A lawyer working in the Business and Property Courts now must  have a detailed understanding of the rules, Practice Directions and the guidance given in relation to both obtaining evidence and drafting witness statements.

THE DECLARATION THAT THE WITNESS STATEMENT HAS TO SIGN

 

4.3 A trial witness statement must be endorsed with a certificate of compliance in the following form, signed by the relevant legal

representative, unless the statement is signed when the relevant party is a litigant in person or the court orders otherwise:

 

“I hereby certify that:

  1. I am the relevant legal representative within the meaning of

Practice Direction 57AC.

  1. I am satisfied that the purpose and proper content of trial

witness statements, and proper practice in relation to their

preparation, including the witness confirmation required by

paragraph 4.1 of Practice Direction 57AC, have been

discussed with and explained to [name of witness].

  1. I believe this trial witness statement complies with Practice

Direction 57AC and paragraphs 18.1 and 18.2 of Practice

Direction 32, and that it has been prepared in accordance with

the Statement of Best Practice contained in the Appendix to

Practice Direction 57AC.

Name: …………………………

Position: …………………………

Date: …………………………”

SO FROM THE 6th APRIL 2021 IF YOU PRACTICE IN THE BUSINESS AND PROPERTY COURTS YOU NEED

  • A detailed knowledge of Practice Direction 57AC.
  • To be able to show that you have explained this to the witness
  • A detailed knowledge of 18.1 and 18.2 of Practice Direction 32.
  • To know the contents of the entire Statement of Best Practice in the Appendix to Practice Direction 57AC.

Alternatively you could just sign the declaration – and hope…

THE WEBINAR

I have prepared an in-house webinar that deals with these new rules and the steps that litigators have to take to comply, protect their clients and protect themselves.

Details are available at g.exall37@btinternet.com