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6. Issuing and Serving  

Civil proceedings commence with the issuance of a claim form. Issuing a claim involves the court sealing the claim form with its official seal. This chapter discusses issuing and serving proceedings. It covers the claim form; jurisdictional endorsements; particulars of claim; specialist claims; issuing a claim form; service of the claim form; deemed date of service of the claim form; service of documents other than a claim form; deemed date of service (non-claim form documents); certificate of service; irregular service; and filing of documents at court.

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8. Part 8 Claims and Petitions  

This chapter discusses Part 8 claims and petitions, which are forms of originating process. Most types of proceedings which have to be brought by either Part 8 claim form or petition are very narrow and specialized, but some are of great importance. The most important types of proceedings which must be commenced by petition are those for divorce, judicial separation, bankruptcy, and the winding-up of companies.

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20. Additional Claims under Part 20  

This chapter discusses the rules for additional claims under Part 20 of the Civil Procedure Rules 1998 (CPR). An additional claim typically will seek to pass any liability established against the defendant to a third party. This is achieved by seeking indemnities, contributions, or related remedies against the third party. A third party may in turn seek to pass on its liability to a fourth party, and so on. Permission to issue an additional claim is not required if the additional claim is issued before or at the same time as the defendant files its defence. An additional claim operates as a separate claim within the original claim.

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Cover A Practical Approach to Civil Procedure

35. Experts  

This chapter discusses the principles governing the use of expert evidence in civil claims. It covers the admissibility of expert evidence; control of evidence; choice of expert; privileged nature of experts’ reports; disclosure of experts’ reports; written questions to experts; examinations by experts; experts’ immunity from suit; and use of experts’ reports after trial.

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36. Offers to Settle  

Part 36 of the Civil Procedure Rules 1998 (CPR) provides a means for a party to make a formal offer in settlement of the claim which will be treated as without prejudice for the purposes of liability and remedies, but which can be disclosed to the court on the question of costs. This chapter discusses offers to settle before the commencement of proceedings; making a Part 36 offer; acceptance of a Part 36 offer; rejections, counter-offers, and subsequent offers; withdrawal and amendment of Part 36 offers; failing to obtain judgment more advantageous than a Part 36 offer; advising on Part 36 offers; non-disclosure to judge; and Part 36 offers in appeals.

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19. Evidence and Disclosure  

Collecting and analysing evidence is often one of the most expensive elements of litigation. The approach to dealing with disclosure of evidence has been modified as part of the reforms introduced following the review carried out by Lord Justice Sir Rupert Jackson. The norm of standard disclosure has been replaced by options for the level of disclosure designed to ensure that disclosure is proportionate, which presents opportunities for saving costs and opens up some tactical considerations as regards the level of disclosure to seek and to offer. This chapter focuses on general principles and approaches that are most likely to be effective in preparing a case. It discusses the key rules of admissibility; questions of weight and reliability on the evidence presented; identifying what needs to be proved in a case; types of evidence; collecting evidence; disclosure of evidence; electronic disclosure of evidence; and reviewing and advising on evidence.

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Cover A Practical Approach to Civil Procedure

26. Security for Costs  

The question of who pays for the costs of a claim is generally not determined until the claim is finally disposed of, whether by consent, interim process, or trial. However, an order for security for costs can be made against a party in the position of a claimant. Once security is given it may be retained, subject to the court’s discretion, pending an appeal. An order for security for costs usually requires the claimant to pay money into court as security for the payment of any costs order that may eventually be made in favour of the defendant, and staying the claim until the security is provided. On the application three issues arise: (i) whether one of the conditions for ordering security for costs is satisfied; (ii) if so, whether, having regard to all the circumstances of the case, it would be just to exercise the court’s discretion in favour of making the order; and (iii) if so, how much security should be provided. This chapter considers each of these three issues. It begins by looking at the procedure for making the application and the capacity of the respondent to the application.

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16. Defending an Action  

This chapter focuses on the role of the defendant. The litigation system in England is adversarial, thus on the face of it the role of the defendant is potentially defensive, confrontational, and non cooperative. While the objective of the defendant will usually be to make the claim go away, the perhaps natural desire to take an approach that involves denial, delay, and obfuscation wherever possible must be resisted, or at least carefully considered. The chapter discusses the main types of defence to an action; dealing with the early stages of an action when a claim form is received; rules for drafting a defence; making a counterclaim; claiming a set-off; a general framework for a defence and counterclaim; and strategies and tactics in defending a case.

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7. Renewal of Process  

After proceedings commence by issuing a claim form or other originating process, they must be brought to the attention of the defendants or respondents by service. Generally, originating process remains valid for the purpose of service for a period of four months. Service of proceedings marks a watershed in the litigation process. It is at this point that the defendant is put on formal notice that legal proceedings have been brought, and the time limit on service of proceedings is one which is relaxed with extreme caution. This chapter discusses periods of validity; power to renew; claims in respect of cargo carried by sea; multiple defendants; effect of stay; procedure on seeking an extension; and challenging an order granting an extension.

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12. Responding to a Claim  

This chapter discusses the procedure for defendants responding to the claim. A defendant who intends to contest proceedings must respond to the claim by filing an acknowledgment of service and/or by filing a defence. Defended claims become subject to the court’s case management system, with the court making provisional track allocation decisions, followed by the parties filing directions questionnaires. If a defendant fails to make any response to a claim a default judgment is usually entered within a relatively short period after service.

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13. Default Judgment  

Judgment in default may be entered where the defendant fails to defend a claim. It produces a judgment in favour of a claimant without holding a trial. This chapter discusses when default judgment may be entered; cases excluded from judgment in default; entering default judgment; final judgment and judgment for an amount to be decided; deciding the amount of damages; setting aside default judgments; and stay of undefended cases.

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27. Small Claims Track  

The Civil Procedure Rules 1998 (CPR) provide for the allocation of claims with a limited financial value to what is known as the small claims track. This is intended to provide a streamlined procedure with limited pre-trial preparation, with very restricted rules on the recovery of costs from the losing party, and without the strict rules of evidence. It is appropriate for the most straightforward types of cases, such as consumer disputes, accident claims where the injuries suffered are not very serious, disputes about the ownership of goods, and landlord and tenant cases other than claims for possession. This chapter discusses provisions of the CPR that do not apply; standard and special directions of the court; determination without a hearing; final hearings in small claims track cases; cost restrictions for claims allocated to the small claims track; and rehearings.

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15. Issuing Proceedings, Track Allocation, and Directions  

This chapter begins with a discussion of court selection. The issue of proceedings, and to some extent the choice of court, is increasingly being streamlined, with the procedure for County Court money claims and bulk claims being moved online. For the larger multi-track cases, however, the High Court and the County Court have concurrent jurisdiction for many types of proceedings. The chapter then explains the issuance of the claim form, which marks the start of formal litigation; the service of proceedings, i.e. the formal process by which the defendant is notified of the claim; the claimant's selection of the court in which the claim is brought; and the court's allocation of the case to a particular ‘track’. The final section deals with the directions questionnaire (form N180), which should not be seen as a formality but as a key step in defining how the case should move forward.

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47. Qualified One-Way Costs Shifting  

Qualified one-way costs shifting (QOCS) provides costs protection to claimants in personal injuries claims. If the claimant wins, the defendant should be ordered to pay the claimant’s costs in the usual way. However, if the claimant loses, under QOCS, while the claimant remains liable to pay its own lawyers’ costs, and may be ordered to pay the successful defendant’s costs, the claimant will be protected against actually having to pay those costs to the defendant. This chapter discusses cases where QOCS applies; the effects of QOCS; and loss of QOCS protection.

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11. Service Outside the Jurisdiction  

This chapter deals with jurisdiction in England and Wales. Proceedings generally have to be served within the jurisdiction. There always has to be a sound basis before proceedings can be served outside the jurisdiction. Where the parties have an exclusive jurisdiction clause in favour of the courts of England and Wales, proceedings may be commenced against a defendant who is outside the jurisdiction pursuant to the Hague Convention 2005, and served on the defendant without seeking court permission. In other cases, if jurisdiction can be established against a defendant who is outside the jurisdiction under the CPR, r 6.36 and PD 6B, para 3.1, proceedings can be served outside the jurisdiction only with the permission of the court. The times for responding to claims served outside the jurisdiction are extended.

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28. Fast Track  

The fast track provides a ‘no-frills’ procedure for medium-sized cases that do not justify the detailed and meticulous preparation appropriate for complex and important cases. Instead, cases allocated to this track will be progressed to trial within a short timescale after the filing of a defence. The fast track covers the majority of defended claims within the £10,000–£25,000 monetary band. It also deals with non-monetary claims such as injunctions, declarations, and claims for specific performance which are unsuitable for the small claims track and do not require the more complex treatment of the multi-track. This chapter covers directions for cases allocated to the fast track; standard fast track timetable; agreed directions; varying the directions timetable; listing for trial; fast track trial; and costs in fast track cases.

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30. Striking Out, Discontinuance, and Stays  

This chapter discusses striking-out orders, discontinuance, and stays in civil proceedings. Rule 3.4(2) of the Civil Procedure Rules 1998 (CPR) allows the court to strike out a statement of case if it appears to the court: that the statement of case discloses no reasonable grounds for bringing or defending the claim; that the statement of case is an abuse of the court’s process or is otherwise likely to obstruct the just disposal of the proceedings; or that there has been a failure to comply with a rule, practice direction, or court order. A party who realizes their case is doomed is often best advised to discontinue to prevent the accumulation of further costs, but often has to pay the costs of the other parties to date. Stays are temporary halts in proceedings, and can be granted for a range of reasons. A stay is normally lifted once the reason no longer applies.

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14. Pursuing Appropriate Remedies  

The main purpose of most litigation is to secure a remedy or relief. That is the reason why the claimant starts the action, and it should be the focus of many decisions relating to the case. From the first contact with the client, lawyers must be clear about what the client really wants to achieve, and decisions about causes of action, evidence, and interim applications should focus on the remedies and relief being pursued. This chapter discusses the remedies a court can and cannot order; claims for damages; quantification of damages; and claims for interest on top of claims for the payment of a sum of money or damages. The final section covers the importance of taking a proactive approach to claiming and quantifying damages.

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44. Search Orders  

This chapter discusses the rules for search orders. A search order is a bundle of interim orders which require the respondent to admit another party to premises for the purpose of preserving evidence which might otherwise be destroyed or concealed by the respondent. Search orders are principally, but not exclusively, used in intellectual property claims against defendants who are likely to destroy incriminating evidence rather than disclose it voluntarily under standard disclosure.

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14. Statements of Case  

Statements of case are formal documents used in litigation to define what each party says about the case. This chapter discusses forms of statements of case; particulars of claim defence; counterclaims and set-offs; reply and defence to counterclaim; subsequent statements of case; dispensing with statements of case; Scott schedules; interrelation with case management; and use of statements of case at trial.