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Trial witness statements in the Admiralty Court from 1 October 2021: Another “shot across the bow” for legal teams and clients alike

Practice Direction 57AC of the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) seeks to remind legal teams and clients how trial witness statements should be prepared. At the heart of Practice Direction 57AC, which applies to the Admiralty Court from 1 October 2021 onwards, is the aim (continually repeated by the courts) that the court will be able to evaluate witness statements, without those statements being influenced by the “polishing” of legal teams, continual reference to documents or the need to argue the overall case. Whilst none of this is new, the Practice Direction includes some changes to underline the importance that the courts place on this objective.

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