Practice Direction 57AC came into force on 6 April 2021, imposing a number of new requirements in respect of trial witness statements in the business and property courts.

Litigators in those courts must be aware of the practice direction and its new requirements or else risk last-minute re-drafts, adverse costs orders or the prospect of a witness having to give their evidence orally.

Careful consideration needs to be given to the requirements throughout the process, from the taking of instructions to the execution of the statement.

Russell-Cooke associate Georgia Haughney explains in Solicitors Journal how the practice direction will impact the drafting of statements, specifically with regards to the taking of evidence, statement content, formal requirements and sanctions.

Witness statement rules is available to read in Solicitors Journal via subscription. A full pdf of the article is also available.

Georgia is an associate solicitor in the trust and estate disputes team. 

Georgia acts for both claimants and defendants on a range of trust and contentious probate matters. She also advises on contentious Court of Protection matters, acting for people who lack capacity, deputies, attorneys and other interested parties on matters such as disputes relating to financial abuse, removing a deputy/attorney, statutory wills and disputed lifetime gifts.