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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
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Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Defending a personal guarantee claim as an LIP. Court order

Resolved Question:

Defending a personal guarantee claim as an LIP. Court order requests witness statement to be served on claimant tomorrow by 4pm. I submitted a witness statement as my defence at the outset. Do I need to serve another (updated) witness statement, or will the claimant assume that the first witness statement is the one I will be using? By the way, we are still going through the disclosure and requests for information routine, so is tomorrows date a bit premature (or incorrect)?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you.
As long as it was a statement you submitted and not just a defence then you only need to serve a further statement in reply to anything else.
If the Court set the date for witness exchange as tomorrow then it MUST be complied with unless there has been an application to vary that order or the parties agree to extend the date.
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you very much.

If I have not yet received copies of all the requested documents from the other party, and we are still within the time allotted for exchange of documents, does that make a difference?

Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
You need to do this NOW then. So yes you need to do this for exchange.
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you Alex but I'm still not quite clear.

The original defence I filed was, indeed, a witness statement so I only need to serve on the other party a small supplementary witness statement today that I wish to add. That I understand and can do easily today by 4pm.

What i don't understand is that the deadline for providing any requested disclosable documents does not expire yet (for me 28th, for the claimant 31st May) so we have not yet had the benefit of seeing all the documents that may be pertinent to the case From my understanding the exchange of witness statements is usually done after all disclosure is complete.

Further, whilst the witness statement I submitted originally referred to documents, it did not refer to them as exhibits with references and no exhibits were appended. Can I apply to the Court to ask if I am able to apend the original WS with exhibits? All documents referred to are common to both parties.

Lastly, I hit the "not satisfied with your expert?" link by mistake (on my mobile) but please be assured this is not the case if something came through as such.

Thanks

Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Ok. What does the court order say about witness statements?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

"By 4pm on the 26th May 2015 all parties must serve on each other copies of the signed statements of themselves and of all witnesses on whom they intend to rely and all notices relating to evidence."

Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Ok. But disclosure after?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Yes, it allows both parties to make any request for disclosure by 19th May but then allows each party 14 days to comply with any request. The deadlines for sending disclosed documents therefore come after the serving of statements deadline. That doesn't seem right to me. I wonder whether it should have said 26th JUNE for statements deadline?

As it happens the other party have complied with sending their statements to me and I know they have posted the disclosed documents to me as they have confirmed that by email to me.

The county court has made several errors so far, not least of which was sending the order to a completely wrong address instead of to me. Luckily I checked as I'd not heard anything from them.

Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Yes indeed. It sounds like you need to apply to amend the order. Disclosure always comes before witness exchange.
However if the other side agree you can push back the witness exchange date until after disclosure. If they don't you need to make an application to vary the order.
Does that help?
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you very much Alex, yes it does help. I just rang the court and whilst the clerk sort of agreed, she could only advise that I comply with the order as it is (so to serve any witness statements on the other party by 4pm today), but then apply to the court to have the order amended. Therefore both parties may be able to serve further witness statements once disclosure is complete.

Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Yes you could do that.you can either apply now to Amend and the clock stops, or exchange now and apply to amend later.
Does that help?
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Yes, as the other party have complied with today's deadline I'm inclined to serve them with the 2nd witness statement I have prepared now so that things are fair. Then when I ask them to agree to postponing the exchange deadline until after disclosure I imagine they will be more inclined to agree. If not I can still apply to the court. Does that seem a good approach?

Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Yes it does.
Can I clarify anything else for you?
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

No that's all. Thank you very much for your help Alex. This is a very good service.

Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Happy to help.
If this answers your question might I ask you to rate my answer before you go today please, the button should be at the bottom of the screen.
If you need more help please click reply.
Alex
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience: Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Hi

I am just following up to see if there is anything else I can help with?

If this answers your question might I ask you to rate my answer before you go today please, the button should be at the bottom of the screen.

If you need more help please click reply.

Alex

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