Case Management



The claim shall be listed before [name of judge] for a case management conference on the first available date after ……. weeks with a time estimate of …… minutes

When a defence is filed, a judge will read the papers and give such directions as seem appropriate. However, in some cases, he will want to discuss with the parties what directions are needed. A case management conference is a short hearing at which he can do this.

The case management conference has been listed for ……..[purpose]

The particular reason for having a case management conference may be stated in the order.

The case management conference will be conducted by telephone, unless the court orders otherwise.  The Claimant must make the relevant arrangements in accordance with Practice Direction 23A Civil Procedure Rules.

Judges often take hearings by telephone, though less often when parties are unrepresented.
The Practice Direction sets out what the party told to make the arrangements for the telephone conference call should do. Unrepresented parties are rarely expected to do this.

At least 3 clear days before the case management conference the Claimant must file and send to the other party or parties preferably agreed and by email:

  1. draft directions
  2. a chronology
  3. a statement of the issues
  4. a case summary.

The Claimant, in co-operation with the other party or parties, must help the judge by suggesting the directions that are thought to be needed.
Describe the directions you think the judge should give. It is better not to try drafting a directions order without qualified help.
A chronology is a list, with dates and in date order, of the events leading up to the claim.
A statement of the issues identifies the matters on which the parties disagree, briefly describing the position taken by each of the parties on each matter.
A case summary is a concise but complete overview of the whole case.
These documents should be discussed among the parties so that agreed versions can be given to the judge if possible.

There will be a further case management conference in Room xxxx, Royal Courts of Justice, at [time]  on [date], at which the court will review directions to trial.

This direction is given only in claims proceeding in the Royal Courts of Justice in London

Unless by [date] the Defendant shows cause in writing  (including by email) to the assigned judge why judgment on the issue of liability for a sum to be assessed by the Court should not be entered, then judgment will be entered for the Claimant and the Defendant must make an interim payment of damages in the sum of £…… by [date]

Sometimes in a claim it seems obvious that the Claimant is entitled to a payment and the only real dispute is over the amount.
This direction gives the Defendant the opportunity to object but, if he does not, confirms that it is only the amount that is in dispute. The judge may also require the Defendant to make a payment on account representing the very least the Claimant seems to be entitled to, on the judge’s reading of the papers.

If the Defendant shows cause then the case management conference will be restored on [date] with a time estimate of [30] minutes for the assigned judge to decide whether there should be a trial on liability and on what issues and to give further directions.

A hearing to consider what to do next will be fixed if the Defendant does object to the direction above.

The following preliminary issue[s] will be tried between the Claimant and the Defendant:

  1. whether …….
  2. whether ……

In a complex case it can be helpful to have certain basic points resolved by a judge’s decision at an early stage.
Below is a particular example.

A preliminary issue will be tried between the Claimant and the Defendant as to whether or not the Defendant is liable to the Claimant by reason of the matters alleged in the Particulars of Claim and, if so, whether or not any of the injuries described were so caused and; if any such injuries were so caused, the extent of the same

The question whether the Defendant is liable at all is to be tried first, before consideration is given to the amount of compensation which will be awarded if he is. (Sometimes working out the amount is an expensive process, the cost of which is wasted if the Defendant has no liability.) Directions as to documents and evidence may then be limited at this stage to the question of liability.
In this example, the claim is in respect of injuries and the judge will also determine which of the Claimant’s symptoms the Defendant is liable for, if not all of them.

Directions in respect of all outstanding matters will be given by the judge at that trial as appropriate.

If the Defendant is found liable at the preliminary trial, directions may be needed on preparation for the trial on the amount of compensation. The first trial judge is to deal with this.

The Claim will be listed for a disposal hearing at which the judge will consider the papers and hear submissions from the parties.  The following directions will apply in respect of that hearing.

  1. The Claimant must file and serve a statement confined to the issue of damages together with copies of all documents relied on by 4pm on [date].
  2. Any statement made by any person who requires the assistance of an interpreter must include a certificate that the statement has been read and interpreted to that person by someone suitably qualified to do so.
  3. If the Claimant is to be cross-examined, the Defendant must file an application for an Order pursuant to Rule 32.7 by 4pm on [date].  At that hearing of the application the Court will consider whether the claim should be allocated to a track and further directions given.
  4. A party believing that the amount payable is genuinely disputed on grounds which appear substantial must file an application for the claim to be allocated to a track and for further directions by 4pm on [date].
  5. The disposal hearing shall be listed on the first available date [after [date]] with a time estimate of [fifteen] minutes.  If a notice giving details of the time and place of the hearing is not enclosed with this Order, one will be sent to you shortly.

If liability (e.g. for an accident) is not disputed and if deciding the amount of compensation looks to be straightforward, the judge may decide not to allocate the claim to a track for trial but, instead, fix a short disposal hearing. At such a hearing, the judge will normally use written evidence only, though the parties may assist him with brief submissions.
Other directions than those shown on the left may be given.


If the Defendant wants to ask the Claimant questions at the disposal hearing about his witness statement, he must apply in advance for an order allowing it.


If either party thinks the claim is not suitable to be disposed of in this way, he can apply for it to be taken out of this procedure.

By 4 p.m. on [date] any party asserting a breach of the Pre-Action Protocol for [case type] cases must serve a statement setting out the alleged breach and its effect. A response to the statement must be served within [14] days of receipt and the papers referred by the asserting party to the Court for further directions.

Pre-action Protocols set out requirements for before a claim is issued in court. They apply to several different types of case.
Failure to comply with one may cause delay and expense. The Court may have to give directions to deal with this.

The above dates and time limits may be extended by agreement between the parties.  Nevertheless,

  1. The dates relating to trial and pre-trial review cannot be varied without the permission of the court.
  2. The remaining dates and time limits may not be extended by more than [number] days without the permission of the court.

This direction reminds the parties that (under the Civil Procedure Rules) they can agree to extend some, but not all, of the dates and time limits prescribed for steps in preparing for trial.

However, it also restricts agreed extensions to a specified number of days.

The [claim is] [claim and counterclaim are] stayed [the stay of this claim is extended] until [date], during which period the parties must try to settle the matter or to narrow the issues.
By 4pm on [date] the [party] must notify the court in writing of the outcome of negotiations (without disclosing any matters which remain subject to 'without prejudice' terms) and what, if any, further directions are sought.  Failure to comply with this direction or to engage properly in negotiations may result in the application of sanctions.  If settlement has been reached, the parties must file a consent order signed by all of them.

The court is putting the case on hold for a period so that the parties can take time to discuss it and try to reach agreement. This “stay” can be extended if they are making progress.
At the end of the period, they must let the court know the result. One party is named to do this on behalf of them all.


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