Trial Witness Statement Rules under Practice Direction 57AC—First Published Case to Address the Revised Regime

29 July 2021
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Key takeaways:
  • Mad Atelier International BV v Manes [2021] EWHC 1899 (Comm) is the first published judgment addressing the revised trial witness statement regime under Practice Direction 57AC (“PD57AC”), and confirms PD57AC does not change the law on admissibility of evidence.
  • The Defendant had brought an application to strike out extracts of the Claimant’s witness statements under paragraph 5.2 PD57AC, arguing they represented inadmissible opinion evidence of lay witnesses and were contrary to certain provisions of PD57AC and its Appendix.
  • Dismissing the application, the judge held that the evidence was admissible, being “either itself factual evidence or evidence of opinion given by those with knowledge of the facts and by reference to the factual evidence which they each give”.
  • This Debevoise In Depth details the parties’ arguments, the reasoning of the judge and the significance of this judgment to the preparation of witness statements under PD57AC.