Allocation to the fast track
The fast track is the normal track for cases broadly falling into the £5,000 to £15,000 bracket, and which can be disposed of by a trial which will not exceed a day. The following cases will normally be allocated to the fast track:
- Personal injuries cases with a financial value between £5,000 and £15,000;
- Personal injuries cases with an overall value under £5,000, but where the damages for pain, suffering and loss of amenity are likely to exceed £1,000;
- Claims by residential tenants for orders requiring their landlords to carry out repairs or other work to the premises where the financial value of the claim is between £1,000 and £15,000;
- Other categories of cases, where the financial value of the claim is between £5,000 and £15,000.
When it allocates a case to the fast track, the court will send an allocation notice to the parties which will include case management directions given by the District Judge which set a timetable for the steps to be taken from that point through to trial. If any direction or order is required that has not been provided for, it is the duty of the parties to make an application as soon as possible so as to avoid undue interference with the overall timetable. Fast track directions will be tailored to the circumstances of each case.
Experts in fast track claims
One of the powers available to the court is that of directing that the evidence on particular issues may be given by a single expert jointly instructed by the opposing parties. In order to keep down costs and to reduce the length of fast track trials, it will be usual for the court to make directions for the joint instruction of a single expert unless there is a good reason for doing something else. In addition, in fast track cases the court will not direct an expert to attend at trial unless it is necessary to do so in the interests of justice.
For more information on:
- Pre-trial checklists
- Pre-trial directions
- Trial bundles
- Failing to pay the pre-trial fee
- Fast track trials
- Fast track costs