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  • Civil Court Service 2016
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Civil Court Service 2016

FROM £220.00

Are you up-to-speed with the most significant changes to civil procedure in over a decade?

A 10.3% VAT charge will be added to this product at the checkout as it includes a CD-ROM.

Civil Court Service (‘The Brown Book’) provides access to the full text of the CPR and all relevant materials in a single volume, combined with authoritative commentary from a team of leading judges and practitioners.

Under the Editorship of His Honour Judge Graeme Smith, the Brown Book provides concise, relevant commentary to practitioners who need fast and reliable answers to procedural matters in the civil courts.

Civil Court Service 2016 includes amendments to the CPR up to and including the 83rd Update. The 2016 edition has been substantially revised to incorporate:

  • Various changes to the CPR including:
    • new rule 3.1A dealing with cases involving unrepresented parties
    • a revised PD5B dealing with electronic filing and communication and a new PD51O introducing the new electronic working pilot scheme
    • amendments to Part 47 setting out new requirements for breakdown of costs and new Precedents Q and R
    • new PD51P (Pilot for Insolvency Express Trials)
    • new Part 89 (Attachment of Earnings)
    • amended Pre-Action Protocols
  • General updates to take account of recent case-law such as:
    • Thevarajah v Riorden [2015] UKSC 78 on relief from sanctions
    • Alpha Rocks Solicitors v Alade [2015] EWCA Civ 685 on misconduct
  • Changes to housing legislation brought about by the Deregulation Act 2015
  • Latest versions of Court Guides including the new fourth edition of the Queen’s Bench Court Guide and the Chancery Guide 2016
  • Expert commentary from a team of highly experienced and specialist judges and practitioners
  • Courts’ Directory, providing up-to-date contact details for all courts

2016 Subscription Information
By subscribing to Civil Court Service you will be placed on standing order to receive the main work, autumn supplement and newsletters until countermanded.

To arrange your FREE 14-day trial to the online service or to find out how a print or online subscription to Civil Court Service will benefit your day-to-day work contact our Account Management Team today.
  • Procedural Guides
  • Civil Procedure Rules and Practice Directions
  • Other Practice Directions
  • Pre-Action Protocols
  • Court Guides
  • Fees
  • Other Statutory Material
  • Miscellaneous
"Contemporary in outlook and designed to keep you up to date. 'The Brown Book' isn't just a book -- it's a service -- and very good value too, for busy civil practices"
An appreciation by Phillip Taylor MBE and Elizabeth Taylor of Richmond Green Chambers
Read the full review

Reviews from Previous editions

"an invaluable reference resource ... Every practitioner needing to stay up to date with developments within civil jurisdiction should acquire a copy."
An appreciation by Phillip Taylor MBE and Elizabeth Taylor of Richmond Green Chambers
Read the full review
Watch the review

"Essential for civil practitioners: A concise and reliable guide to a wide range of civil litigation problems ... for civil practitioners or anyone participating professionally in the civil justice system Civil Court Practice 2012 is an indispensable guide to litigation governed by the Civil Procedure rules, the Practice Directions and Pre-Action Protocols ... this guide is economical, concise, readable and simple to use, yet at the same time packed with all pertinent details, inculding extensive footnotes and annotations ... continues to offer detailed procedural guidance from a distinguished team of prominent judges and leading practitioners and should prove invaluable to anyone involved in civil litigation ... particularly useful for the general civil litigator, especially in the county court ... useful and easily navigable ... a free CD ROM includes the entire text of the book, plus a number of forms you can complete on-screen ... this is a brilliant shorter resource and certainly value for money."For the full review click here
Phillip Taylor MBE and Elizabeth Taylor of Richmond Green Chambers

"... by far the easiest of the civil court books to work with quickly; it is well laid out and has everything I need in one volume. The procedural guides and annotations are just about right and avoid prolixity." 
District Judge George Cawood, Portsmouth County Court

"a very impressive and comprehensive service ... easy to navigate"William Batstone, Barrister, Guildhall Chambers, Bristol

"very easy to use ... a vital aid"APIL Newsletter

“a matter of professional necessity to acquire your copy … very handy whether you’re preparing a case or dealing with it in court and the CD saves massive time … the natural choice for the general civil litigator”Phillip Taylor MBE and Elizabeth Taylor, Richmond Green Chambers

"Civil Court Service 2010 has been called the natural choice for the general civil litigator, especially in the County Court"
The Pears - Worcestershire Law Society
The Right Honourable Lord Justice Laws

Founding Editors
Richard Stevens OBE
Former District Judge
Bill Vincent OBE
Former District Judge

General Editor
His Honour Judge Graeme Smith
Bolton Combined Court Centre

District Judge Michael Anson 
Preston Combined Court Centre
Jeremy Clarke-Williams 
Stephen Gerlis 
Recorder, Former District Judge
His Honour Judge Allan Gore QC 
Designated Civil Judge for Manchester
District Judge Janet Lambert
County Court at Central London, Bankruptcy
Eloise Le Santo
Robert Marven
His Honour Judge Abbas Mithani QC
East Midlands Group of Courts
Alison Oakes
Alan Owens
District Judge Tim Parker 
Slough County Court
District Judge Anesh Pema
Leeds Combined Court Centre
Richard Price
Barrister and Mediator
District Judge Michael Walker CBE
Wandsworth County Court
L J West-Knights QC
Katrina Yates



In my introduction to the 2015 edition, I commented upon the ‘bewildering’ nature of the CPR, given the seemingly never-ending flood of changes to the Rules. I am absolutely sure that there is no causal connection between those comments and the fact that there have been very few amendments of substance to the CPR over the past 12 months! The only changes of any substance since those noted in the Supplement to the 2015 edition are a revised PD5B and a new PD51O. Both deal with electronic working. PD51O introduces an electronic working pilot scheme for the Rolls Building, which will operate for a year from 16 November 2015. This replaces the pilot scheme in PD51J, which was introduced on 27 April 2015 but which was restricted to the TCC in London. PD5B is of general application and sets out the requirements for communication and filing of documents by email. It may not sound very exciting, but it does contain a number of important provisions which should be noted by practitioners, including the following:

  • Emails may now be sent to take a step where a fee is payable, in the County Court – para 2.3(a);

  • Emails should not exceed 25 sheets of A4 (including attachments and copies where the court is to serve such copies) in the County Court – para 2.3(b);

  • Emails should not exceed 10MB in the County Court – para 2.3(d);

  • The subject line must contain the case number, the parties’ names and any hearing date – para 3.6;

  • Hard copies must not be filed – para 4.1;

  • There are specific provisions dealing with documents which contain a statement of truth – para 5.1;

  • An email received after 4pm is deemed received the next day the court office is open – para 4.2.
The recent emphasis on electronic working and pilot schemes highlights the fact that the Civil Justice system is now at a crossroads. An ambitious reform programme was announced by HMCTS as long ago as March 2014. A funding package was confirmed by the Government in November 2015, and the programme has been described as ‘a once in a generation opportunity both to improve the delivery of justice as well as, by introducing efficiencies, to reduce its cost’. As part of this process, the Lord Chief Justice and the Master of the Rolls commissioned a Civil Courts Structure Review. Lord Justice Briggs is responsible for this (having previously produced a very well-received review of Chancery work in the courts) and his interim report was published in January 2016. This report sets out clearly the different routes available if the system is to arrive at the required destination, and like a good Satnav there are clear indications of the recommended route. It is clear that major changes are contemplated which are likely to have a significant impact on the working of the Civil Justice system, upon the CPR and, consequentially, upon this volume in future years. These changes are likely to include the transfer of more work from judges to ‘Case Officers’ (building on that already being done in the pilot scheme covered by PD51K), the construction of a unified enforcement structure, and the management and trial of cases with a regional connection in that region. However, the most far-reaching proposal is the creation of an Online Court (OC), which builds upon the report of the Online Dispute Resolution Advisory Group report to which I referred in my introduction to the 2015 Supplement. Briggs LJ grapples with the issue of how such a court should relate to the existing court structure, and suggests that ‘a separate court with its own rules would be better insulated from the encrustation by authority which has tended to render the CPR ever more complicated and difficult to comprehend’ (the latter part of this comment being something which readers are likely to agree with, even if they do not agree with the proposal). If this route is chosen, then practitioners face the possibility of cases being governed by the CPR or the ‘OCPR’ (or whatever the rules are actually called) depending on which court is used, which may sound like a throwback to the days of separate County Court Rules and Rules of the Supreme Court. However, it is clear that there is likely to be a fundamentally different way of working in the OC, with an initial ‘largely automated, inter-active online triage’ stage, followed by ‘conciliation and management’ at stage 2, and finally ‘resolution by judges at stage 3’. So the rules, particularly in the first stage, are likely to be very different from the CPR. Whether such rules also become ‘encrusted by authority’ remains to be seen.

Turning back to the present, there have been some significant changes to the law relating to housing, particularly as a result of the Deregulation Act 2015. Although these do not result in specific changes to the CPR, there are some very helpful notes by Tim Parker in Section 7 of this work. In terms of case-law, there have been few recent cases of major significance. Highlights include:

  • Relief from sanctions continues to generate numerous reported cases, but the principles established in Denton are now well established, and the latest authorities either deal with the application of those principles to particular facts or with the relationship between those principles and other parts of the CPR. It is interesting to see that the Supreme Court again entertained an appeal on this subject (Thevarajah v Riorden [2015] UKSC 78), although they ultimately agreed with the decision and reasoning of the Court of Appeal.

  • Allegations of misconduct have continued to occupy the courts’ time in different shapes and forms: in Alpha Rocks Solicitors v Alade [2015] EWCA Civ 685, the Court of Appeal reversed the order of the judge who had struck out a claim for solicitors’ fees on the basis that it was exaggerated and based on fabricated documents, holding that he had conducted an inappropriate mini-trial but without hearing witnesses; in Richard Lewis and Ors v Ward Hadaway (A Firm) [2015] EWHC 3503 (Ch), it was held that deliberately, at the time of issue, claiming less than the full amount of the intended claim and thus paying a lesser fee than the one which ought to be paid to HMCTS may well constitute an abuse of process.

  • A number of first instance decisions giving guidance as to costs budgeting are noted at CPR, r 3.15.

  • The definition of the defence of tender before claim in the CPR Glossary was held to be inaccurate in RSM Bentley Jennison (A Firm) & Ors v Ayton [2015] EWCA Civ 1120.

  • Just before we went to press, the Court of Appeal held by a majority that the failure to specify a date for filing an acknowledgement of service in an order authorising service of the claim form by an alternative method or at an alternative place (CPR, r 6.15(4)(c)) had the effect that the Defendant was under no obligation to file an acknowledgment of service, so that default judgment could not be entered – Dubai Financial Group LLC v National Private Air Transport Services Co [2016] EWCA Civ 71.

I continue to be indebted to the team of contributors for their detailed and careful notes.

GRAEME SMITH February 2016

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