Back in May 2020 I wrote a blog following the annual open meeting of the Civil Procedure Rules Committee which was held via Skype for the first time. One of the costs related matters covered at that meeting was the proposed amendment to the CPR in respect of cases involving vulnerable parties. This followed the publication of recommendations in the Vulnerable Witnesses and Parties within Civil Proceedings report.
Those changes are now to be included in the Civil Procedure (Amendment) Rules 2021 & the 127th Practice Direction Update and will come into force on 6th April 2021.
The amendments include a change to the overriding objective and a new Practice Direction 1A to cover the participation of vulnerable parties or witnesses . The text of the practice direction can be found here at schedule 1.
The CPR 44.3(5) proportionality factors will also be updated to specify that costs incurred will be proportionate if they bear a reasonable relationship to “(f) any additional work undertaken or expense incurred due to the vulnerability of a party or any witness.”.
Helen Spalding is an Associate in the Costs and Litigation Funding Department at Clarion. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 0113 288 5639.