How to draft a Witness Statement for the Business and Property Courts?

Practice Direction 57AC came into force in April 2021. It has changed the way in which we have to draft statements for the Business and Property Courts (BPC) only with a number of exceptions.

The new rules only apply to statements prepared for trial. So, what are these new rules you may ask;

A witness statement should be prepared in a way that avoids any practice that might alter or influence the recollection of the witness

The witness also needs to confirm in their certificate of compliance that they have stated honestly how well they recall matters and whether their memory has been refreshed by considering documents and if so when

You must now keep detailed notes of your meeting with the witness

The statements must now be in the persons own words

Statements must be signed by your Solicitor to confirm they comply with PD 57AC

The rules are aimed at ensuring the statements are in the parties’ own words and not influenced by the lawyers or others. Statements give the Judge a breakdown of the case and issues they are therefore essential to any case and must be prepared properly.

If you require guidance on the Court process as a litigant in person or a solicitor unfamiliar with contentious work, please contact our specialist Dispute Resolution team on 0121 233 6912 or email anasir@blackhams.com