Adam Korn and Thomas Jervis of Leigh Day have secured what is thought to be the first “Covid-19 Direction” displacing the normal rule under CPR 3.8(4) as a direct result of the potential practice disruptions that could be caused by the Covid-19 Pandemic.
This high value subtle brain injury case arose out of an accident caused by a defective Bianchi road bicycle where the Claimant is alleged to have suffered serious injuries. There are 14 experts (7 instructed by either side) and it is listed for a 5 day quantum only trial next year.
Master Davison sitting in the High Court granted the Claimant’s request for permission for the parties to agree extensions of time for up to 56 days by consent without further Order from the Court in light of the Covid-19 Pandemic. This direction was specifically sought by the Claimant’s representatives in the absence of any formal guidance by the Civil Procedure Rules in light of the Covid-19 Pandemic. It is not yet known exactly how Covid-19 may affect the operation of the Court system in the UK, however the media has reported how it has already started to affect the practice of Courts in other jurisdictions. For example, the US Supreme Court has already started delaying important hearings listed in late March and early April 2020 due to Covid-19.
At present, the general position under CPR.3.8(4) is that parties can only agree up to 28 day extensions of time providing that any such extension does not put at risk any hearing date.
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