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PI Practitioner, December 2020

 

16/12/20. Each issue a particular topic is highlighted, citing some of the useful cases and other materials in that area. You can also receive these for free by registering for our PI Brief Update newsletter. Just select "Free Newsletter" from the menu at the top of this page and fill in your email address.

Guest Supplies Intl Ltd v South Place Hotel Ltd & Anor [2020] EWHC 3307 (QB)

Introduction

This article serves as a reminder for solicitors preparing witness statements not to include written argument within them. Furthermore, it gives guidance as to what a legal representative might do when faced with such a witness statement: in short, in an appropriate case a submission that the judge should disallow all or part of the costs of preparing the witness statement could be made. In addition, it may be justified to ask the judge to strike out the offending passages.

The relevant facts

The background facts are not really relevant to this article. This was a preliminary hearing to determine an application for security for costs in a breach of contract matter regarding the provision of branded amenities for hotels.
This article relates to witness statements written in support of applications. The lessons from this case therefore apply to pretty much any application made in personal injury cases. In my relatively short time at the Bar, I have already seen several instances where the solicitor's witness statement is almost solely submissions.

The judicial criticism of the offending witness statement

Murray J took the opportunity to...

Image ©iStockphoto.com/EmiliaU

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