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THE FAST TRACK

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					                                  THE FAST TRACK

How does the court decide which track to allocate a case to?

Once a defence is filed, each party will be sent an Allocation Questionnaire. The
information provided in the questionnaire will enable the judge to decide which track
is appropriate for the case. Both parties can express a view, but ultimately, the judge
will decide.

How does the judge decide whether a claim should be allocated to the fast
track?

The judge will consider the:

      Parties views

      Amount in dispute. Generally speaking, claims where the amount in dispute is
       between £5,000 and £15,000 will usually be allocated to the fast track

      Timetable and evidence. Cases allocated to fast track will generally require:
          - Limited disclosure
          - A period of approximately 30 weeks to prepare for trial
          - Written expert evidence only
          - A trial lasting no more that one day (5 hours)


Is the allocation questionnaire sufficient for the judge to form a view on
allocation?

In some cases, the judge may decide that further information is needed before a
decision can be reached. Generally speaking, if this is the case, an allocation hearing
will be listed.

What are the standard directions for a fast track case?

The standard directions and timetable for a fast track case are:

Direction                                       Period from the notice of allocation
Disclosure                                      4 weeks
Exchange of witness statements                  10 weeks
Exchange of expert reports                      14 weeks
Court to send out Pre trial Check list (listing 20 weeks
questionnaires)
Return    Pre   trial  Check    list   (listing 22 weeks
questionnaires)
Trial                                           30 weeks


Where it considers that some or all of the steps in that timetable are not necessary,
the court may omit them and direct an earlier trial.

Is it possible to vary the directions?

A variation of directions is possible where:



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      A party is dissatisfied with a direction given by the court

      The parties agree about changes they wish made to the directions given

      A party wishes to apply to vary a direction

What happens if a party does not comply with a direction?

If a party fails to comply with a direction, any other party can apply to the court for an
order to enforce compliance and/ or for a sanction to be imposed. The court will
generally not allow the failure to comply with a direction to result in the postponement
of the trial.

What is the purpose of the Pre Trial Check list (listing questionnaire)?

It enables the judge to make any of the following decisions:

      Whether all the previous directions given have been complied with
      Whether or not any further directions are necessary to prepare the case for
       trial
      Whether or not to give permission for the expert to give oral evidence
      Ensure that the trial time estimate is sufficient
      Set a timetable for the trial itself
      Give directions about the filing of any trial bundle


Are there any limitations on costs that can be recovered?

The following shows the amount of costs that the court may award for the trial:

Value of claim (excluding interest, costs and any Amount of costs which the court
reduction made for contributory negligence)       may award
Up to £3,000                                      £350
More than £3,000 but not more than £10,000        £500
More than £10,000                                 £750


THIS LEAFLET HAS BEEN PRODUCED TO PROVIDE GENERAL GUIDANCE
ONLY. IF YOU REQUIRE SPECIFIC ADVICE THAT WILL BE TAILORED TO
YOUR CASE, PLEASE SPEAK TO YOUR LEGAL REPRESENTATIVE.




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