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Louisa Gothard
Louisa Gothard
Senior Solicitor, Head of Family Law
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Length of High Court financial remedy case skeleton arguments to be reduced
Date:20 JAN 2016

The recent drive to ensure court documents are kept concise is continuing, with Mostyn J revising his guidance on the efficient conduct of financial remedy hearings allocated to a High Court Judge. This follows on from the President’s  latest consultation on PD27A, in which he asked practitioners’ views on regulating the length of individual documents, such as chronologies, skeletons and witness statements (amongst others).

Mostyn J’s guidance, which was last revised in July 2015, only applies to a small proportion of financial remedy cases – those that have hearings allocated to a High Court Judge (whether sitting at the RCJ or elsewhere).

Paragraph 15 of the guidance has been altered to limit the length of skeleton arguments submitted to court.  Previously a skeleton argument could not exceed 25 pages, this has now been reduced as follows:

‘i.  For the first appointment, or any other interim hearing, 10 pages

(including  any attached schedules);

ii.  For the FDR 15 pages (excluding agreed documents but including

any  other appended schedules);

iii.  For the final hearing 20 pages (excluding agreed documents

under  para 13 above, but including any other appended

schedules).’

Paragraph 16, which provides that if a skeleton is going to exceed a certain length a direction to that effect should be sought at the Pre-Trial Review, has also been revised to change the page limit from 25 pages to 20.

The revised guidance will take effect from 1 February 2016 and the whole document can be found here.
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