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Civil Procedure Rules

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It is hard to believe that there have been nearly 50 updates since the introduction of the Civil Procedure Rules on Apr 26, 1999. The 49th update has brought with it a variety of changes and challenges for the practitioner, not least a new Practice Direction that concentrates upon the conduct of the parties prior to commencing proceedings. Of course, the emphasis on pre-action conduct or behavior is nothing new. The Practice Direction, 'PD', does, however, contain a number of points which have caused concern and confusion and this article addresses those concerns with the aim to provide clarification where needed. It is still early days to say whether or not the PD is a success and whereas many claimants view it as yet another obstacle to getting on with the claim, pre-action behavior also applies to defendants and the defendant who does not play his part will also run the risk of incurring some form of cost penalty.

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