The Civil Procedure Rules are guidance which the Courts follow when dealing with all types of civil disputes. They have been designed to make claims quicker, uncomplicated, and less inimical. The overriding objective enshrined in the Civil Procedure Rules is that cases should be dealt with justly and of proportionate cost.
The Practice Directions are supplemental to the Civil Procedure Rules, they are designed to solve minor procedural matters which may occur within the Civil Procedure Rules. The aim of the Practice Directions is to provide further guidance should they be needed alongside the Civil Procedure Rules.
The Civil Procedure (Amendment) Rules 2022
The Civil Procedure (Amendment) Rules 2022 come into force on 6 April 2022. We outline the following changes below:
Digital notice of change
Both the Civil Procedure Rules Part 2 (which relate to the application and interpretation) and Part 43 (which relates to a change of solicitor) have been amended to reflect a new interpretation of “filing”. The online system (My HMCTS) would now allow notices of change of solicitor to be filed online, which will now inevitably speed up the process when filing a notice of change. This could be particularly useful when there are strict deadlines to be met, which is a common occurrence within litigation.
Acknowledgement of service
The Civil Procedure Rules Part 10 has also been redrafted. The main aim of this is to simplify and abbreviate the rules to make them more concise. There has been a slight change of words within the amendments, clarification has been added that a defendant “should” (rather than “may”) file an Acknowledgement of service. Further clarification has also been added as the defendant’s name is to now be set out on the Acknowledgement of service. Only one Acknowledgement of service should be used and, in the case, where two or more defendants are named in the claim, an Acknowledge of service must be claimed through the same legal representative at the same time.
We also receive clarification by way of amendments and withdrawals of Acknowledgement of service. Confirmation is given as an Acknowledgement of service may only be withdrawn with permission from the court, this also must be made in accordance with the Civil Procedure Rules under Rule 23 and must be followed by evidence.
The Civil Procedure Rules Part 12 has also been drafted, to simplify the rule. There is now a requirement for the claimant to provide the defendant’s date of birth only if known and where the defendant is an individual. In addition, an application is now required under Civil Procedure Rule Part 23 where a default judgment is sought for costs only. This does not include fixed costs.
Small claims track limit
Due to the amendments in the Civil Procedure Rules Part 26, there has now been an increase to the small claims track limit in personal injury claims, which do not arise from road traffic accidents. The previous limit was £1,000 it will be increased to £1,500, which is an increase of £500. This has in turn led to changes in the Civil Procedure Rules Part 16, 27 and 45.
There have been some amendments throughout the Civil Procedure Rules as a whole, these have been included to tidy up the rules. These changes include from CPR Part 1, the word “new” has been removed as the Civil Procedure Rules are no longer classed as new. Both the Civil Procedure Rules Part 52 and 54 have been amended because of the new Practice Direction 54D. This is in relation to planning court claims and appeals to the Planning Court.
The 140th Practice Direction
The timeframe for the 140th Practice Direction to come into force is between 01 February 2022 and 06 April 2022.
Digital notice of change
With the increased use of technology by the wake of the pandemic, amendments have been made in which the process has now been introduced to filling a change of solicitor to now be done digitally. This has resulted in changes to Practice Direction 4, which involves the actual forms. Practice Direction 42 has also been amended which relates to the change of solicitor.
Acknowledgement of service and Default Judgment
Given the changes in the Civil Procedure Rules regarding both Acknowledgement of service and Default Judgment Practice Direction 10 and 12 have been deleted because of the aforementioned amendments to the Civil Procedure Rules.
Small claims track limit
The amendments to the Civil Procedure Rules which resulted in the small claims track limit being increased there has had to be changes in the corresponding forms. These include the claim form.
There has also been an ‘updated suite’ in relation to both normal and Commercial Court Forms. This includes some revision of some of the existing forms, as well as the inclusion of some new forms.
Paul Davis is the head of BHW’s Litigation department. If you would like any advice on the Civil Procedure rules, or assistance with any aspect of Litigation, please contact Paul Davis on 0116 281 6231 or at Paul.Davis@bhwsolicitors.com.