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The new 'Intermediate Track' in civil law

Gemma Shepherd-Etchells

31st January 2024

From 1 October 2023 there are now four, not three, tracks for cases in the civil courts to be assigned to. At the recommendation of Sir Rupert Jackson the new intermediate track has ben sandwiched in-between the fast and multi-tracks. The new rules have been introduced under The Civil Procedure (Amendment No.2) Rules 2023.

The new intermediate track will apply to cases valued between £25,000 to £100,000 which are for monetary relief only (not injunctions or specific performance) where the trial is likely to last no longer than three days, with no more than two experts per party giving oral evidence. Furthermore, certain claims must still be allocated to the multi-track such as those concerning cases against the police, human rights issues, asbestos lung disease or clinical negligence claims or those involving the harm, abuse or neglect of children or vulnerable adults.

The intermediate track, like the fast track will also have four complexity bands, with each case being assigned to both a track and a complexity band. The parties may agree the complexity band for their case, but the court will retain its discretion to assign each case to the band it feels is most appropriate.

The benefits of the intermediate track will be a simplified procedure, which includes stricter case management, a maximum fifteen stages and fixed recoverable costs.

This is an attempt to provide certainty as to costs, allowing wider access to justice for all as costs do not run the risk of spiralling. The complexity band along with the stage the claim has reached will be used to ascertain the level of fixed recoverable costs.

Hoping to simplify the system, deal with delays and ensure greater access to justice in this area which can be vey costly to participants time will tell

Comprehension Questions

  1. What are the requirements of cases to be assigned to the new intermediate track?
  2. What are the intended benefits of the new immediate track?
  3. How many tracks will there be now?
  4. What are they?
  5. How will the level of fixed recoverable costs be determined?

Gemma Shepherd-Etchells

Gemma is an experienced Law teacher and examiner.

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