As of 1 October 2019, there have been further amendments made to certain provisions within the Civil Procedure Rules (“CPR”) which have now come into force including: costs budgeting, proceedings brought under section 955 of the Companies Act 2004, and media and communication claims.
The amendment to paragraph 7.4 of CPR Practice Direction (“PD”) 3E [Costs Budgeting] now provides better guidance between incurred costs and budgeted costs. This is a welcome distinction, as previously there were practical difficulties in separating the two. The difference is that incurred costs will be those incurred up to and including the date of the first costs management hearing, whereas costs after that date will be deemed budgeted costs.
In light of the amendment made to paragraph 16 of CPR PD 49A [Applications Under the Companies Acts and Related Legislation] certain claims brought by the Takeover Panel, which is a statutory independent regulator that ensures all shareholders are treated equally during takeover bids, may now be started by either a Part 7 or Part 8 claim form, whichever is appropriate in the relevant circumstances.
There is now also the inclusion of the Media and Communications List, which was initially created in 2017, as a specialist list within the Queen’s Bench Division that will deal with not only defamation, but will also include: misuse of private information, breach of duty under the Data Protection Act, harassment or threats arising by publication, and other similar types of claims. Therefore the current CPR 53 [Defamation Claims] has been replaced with a new Part 53 to include the Media and Communications List and has also led to various changes being made to the relevant PDs, such as PD 53A [Transferring Proceedings to and from the Media and Communications List], PD 53B [Media and Communications Claims], an amendment to paragraph 2.9 of PD 7A [How to Start Proceedings], together with a new pre-action protocol introduced for media and communications claims.
From 7 October 2019, there have also been additional amendments to PD 51O [The Electronic Working Pilot Scheme] to extend the scheme to include the Senior Courts Costs Office and also to PD 47 [Procedure for Detailed Assessment of Costs and Default Provisions] by modifying paragraph 5.1A and including paragraph 5.1B.
Finally, there are the practical considerations to bear in mind as the deadline for Brexit looms in the not so distant future. In the event of a “no deal” Brexit, the Civil Procedure Rules 1998 (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 (SI 2019/521) will come into force on 31 October 2019. The update will allow for amendments to be made removing specific provisions from the CPR that relate to EU Instruments or Treaties which will no longer be applicable or available once those respective Instruments or Treaties have been revoked, or will amend provisions where retained.