Shorter and Flexible Trials pilot schemes extended

Business meeting 16 Print publication


The Shorter and Flexible Trials schemes recently piloted for commercial disputes were developed in response to feedback that clients want cheaper, faster, more flexible litigation and that businesses may, in many cases, prefer slightly more ‘rough and ready justice’ if it means that a clear resolution to their dispute is achieved quickly and cost-effectively.

In the Shorter Trials Scheme, key elements of civil procedure are shortened or completely dispensed with (including, for example, costs management) and the trial is limited to four days.  The Shorter Trials Scheme can be chosen by one party and, if the other party does not agree to its use, the question is decided at the first CMC. In the Flexible Trials Scheme, which is consensual, the parties simply tailor the litigation process to suit their claim, subject to the court’s approval.

The pilot schemes have now been finally approved by the Civil Procedure Rules Committee and will operate permanently within the Business and Property Courts across England and Wales.

For further information and to find out whether the Shorter or Flexible Trials schemes might be appropriate for the swift resolution of your dispute, please see our more detailed briefing and please do not hesitate to contact any member of the Walker Morris Commercial Dispute Resolution Team.