The new Civil Procedure Rules Part 6 comes into effect on 1 October bringing changes to the rules for service of documents in court proceedings. The purpose of the changes is to improve, clarify and codify the existing rules to balance claimants’ and defendants’ interests. The key changes to CPR 6 are:

  • deemed service can only take place on a business day 
  • where documents are delivered on a non-business day, service will be deemed to take place on the next business day 
  • claim forms will be deemed to be served two days after the date of despatch, regardless of the means of the despatch 
  • other documents will be deemed to be served two days after despatch if by post or DX, or on the same day if delivered before 4.30pm by hand, fax or email, or the next business day if served after 4.30pm 
  • deemed service for documents served by electronic means will be the same as for faxes 
  • claimants will be required to take reasonable steps to discover defendants’ current address where they have “reason to believe” the defendant is no longer at the intended address for service.

An important consequential change to CPR Part 7 is that the time limit for serving the claim form will instead be a time limit for despatching the claim form.