Witness statements in the Business and Property Courts will change significantly from 6 April 2021. New rules, contained within Practice Direction 57AC are deigned to:
- Shorten witness statements,
- Stick to factual evidence (as opposed to legal argument and comment),
- stop witnesses quoting from documents.
This is a fundamental change for both Commercial Litigation witnesses and Lawyers. Witnesses will have to sign a “Confirmation of Compliance” (as well as a statement of truth) and lawyers will have to sign a Certificate confirming that they have complied with the Statement of Best Practice. Witness statements risk being struck out if they are not endorsed with the relevant Confirmation of Compliance.