- a new rule 5.7 makes it clear that any party's communications with the court must be disclosed to and copied to the other parties to the proceedings (unless the communication is 'purely routine, uncontentious and administrative'.
- rule 9.27 (estimates of costs) is replaced from 6 July 2020 by a new rule which requires parties to not only file and serve an estimate of costs incurred up to a particular hearing but also (I) before the first appointment include an estimate of the costs to be incurred to the FDR appointment and (ii) before the FDR appointment include an estimate of the costs to be incurred up to the final hearing if settlement is not reached. The parties must also file a full statement of costs 14 days before the final hearing. The court must recite a failure to follow this rule on any order.
- rule 9.27A is also introduced with effect from 6 July 2020 requiring open proposals for settlement 21 days after the FDRA if settlement is not reached. If there is no FDRA then the open proposals must be filed and served not less than 42 days before the final hearing date.
- a new form of rule 27.9 deals with recording and transcripts of proceedings.
- an entirely new Part 41 is added to the FPR empowering the court to make Practice Directions in respect of proceedings taking place by 'electronic means', in other words permitting electronic filing, as is now the usual practice in the High Courts Business & Property Courts and the Queens Bench Division.
The winds of change are blowing.....
The full text of the amendments can be downloaded from the link below.