CPR changes which came into force on 1st October 2015 include the following:
- The court's case management powers have been amended, to include the power to hear an Early Neutral Evaluation with the aim of helping the parties settle the case. More detail about Early Neutral Evaluations can be found here:
- A new Financial List had been introduced. Claims relating, broadly, to banking transactions issued in either the Chancery Division or the Commercial Court can be heard by an authorised Financial List Judge. If the claim raises issues of general importance to the financial markets (in relation to which immediately relevant authoritative English law guidance is needed), it can follow the Financial Markets Test Case Scheme. In particularly urgent or important cases, the trial may be heard by two Financial List judges or a Financial List judge and a Lord or Lady Justice of Appeal.
- Two pilot schemes will run until 30 September 2017:
- the Shorter Trial Scheme. For commercial cases where which do not require extensive disclosure or evidence (and there are no allegations of fraud), a streamlined procedure should result in judgment within a year of starting proceedings. Different procedure rules will also apply – for example, disclosure will be limited to the documents on which a party relies plus particular documents requested by the other side. The costs budgeting rules will only apply if the parties agree.
- the Flexible Trial Scheme. The parties can agree to adopt more flexible and simplified case management procedures.
- CPR r3.1A introduces new rules on directions and procedure where one of the parties is a litigant in person.