CPR 26.9: Scope of the Multi Track

 

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CPR 26 is a provision in the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) of England and Wales that pertains to the handling of defended cases in civil courts.

The allocation of any case is important as it determines the scope of evidence that can be obtained, and also the recoverability of legal costs from the other side, which from 1 October 2023, are fixed on the majority of fast track and intermediate type cases.

Provided below is a breakdown of CPR 26.1:

CPR 26 provides for the following:

A) Automatic transfer in the High Court

B)Transfer between County Court Hearing Centres

C) Allocation to Tracks and Complexity Bands

Since 1 October 2023, four distinct tracks are available for defended cases, and they cater to different types of matters:

a. Small Claims Track: This track handles smaller claims, which are typically straightforward and involve cases of lower value below £10,000, unless personal injury or housing disputes, for which the threshold is lower.

b. Fast Track: This track deals with cases that are more straightforward than multi-track cases but more complicated than small claims. The cases here are likely to be resolved relatively quickly and are valued up to £25,000..

c. Intermediate Track: Introduced on 1 October 2023, the intermediate track positioned between the fast track and multi-track. Cases allocated to this track are of moderate complexity and value (between £25,000 and £100,000).

d. Multi-Track: The most complex cases, involving significant values or intricate legal issues will be allocated to the multi track.  Generally these have a value of £100,000 or more, or involve serious allegations and/or difficulties.

 

CPR 26.9 – Scope of Each Track

More information on the scope of each track can be found under CPR 26.9.

Under this section of the CPR, the scope of the small track, fast track, intermediate track and multi track is outlined.

Small Claims Track 

The small claims track is suitable for personal injury claims valued below £10,000. The value of any claim for personal injuries should be less than £5,000 in a claim for personal injury due to a road traffic accident. Rule 26.10 provides exceptions to this rule and states that claims for personal injury should be less than £1,000 in specific road traffic accident claims.

Claims for personal injury in non-RTA cases should be valued below £1,500.

Cases will be allocated to the small claims track in any case which includes a claim by a tenant of residential premises against a landlord where—

(i)the tenant is seeking an order requiring the landlord to carry out repairs or other work to the premises (whether or not the tenant is also seeking some other remedy);

(ii)the cost of the repairs or other work to the premises is estimated to be not more than £1,000; and

(iii)the value of any other claim for damages is not more than £1,000; and

(c)in relation to claims under the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016(1), any claim which includes a claim by a contract-holder of a dwelling against a landlord where—

(i)the contract holder is seeking an order requiring the landlord to carry out repairs or other work to the dwelling (whether or not the contract-holder is also seeking some other remedy);

(ii)the cost of repairs or other work to the dwelling is estimated to be not more than £1,000; and

(iii)the value of any other claim for damages is not more than £1,000.

Fast Track

Claims allocated to the fast track will be those which are not allocated to the small track and valued below £25,000. The Court must also be satisfied that allocation to the fast track will be in the interests of justice.

For a claim to be allocated to the fast track, the trial should be likely to last no more than one day, and oral evidence should be limited to one expert per party in relation to any expert field.

Intermediate track

The intermediate track was introduced in October 2023. Cases allocated to the intermediate track will be those which are not suitable for the fast track or the small claims track, which are valued below £100,000. Cases allocated to this track should have trials lasting no more than three days and expert evidence should be limited to two experts per party.

If the case includes a claim for non-monetary relief, the claim should only be allocated to the intermediate track if the court considers that doing so would be in the interest of justice.

 

Scope of the Multi Track under CPR 26.9 (10)

CPR 26.9(10) states the scope of the Multi Track, which shows claims which cannot be allocated to the small claims track, fast track, or intermediate track, and therefore fixed recoverable costs will not apply.

Claims will be allocated to the multi track in cases which involve:

(a) mesothelioma proceedings or asbestos lung disease claims;

(b) clinical negligence cases, except for in the circumstances where—

(i)the claim would normally be allocated to the intermediate track and

(ii)both breach of duty and causation are not in dispute

(c)claims in relation to abuse, harm or neglect of or by children or vulnerable adults;

(d)a claim is one the court could order to be tried by jury if satisfied that there is in issue a matter set out in section 66(3) of the County Courts Act 1984(3) or section 69(1) of the Senior Courts Act 1981(4); or

(e)Claims against the police for intentional or reckless tort, or a breach of the Human Rights Act

Multi Track type matters will attract costs on an hourly rate basis, and will also potentially involve costs budgeting, and so it is imperative to have a professional costs partner to assist in these high value disputes.

 

How can ARC Costs Assist?

The allocation of your claim can significantly impact your costs and disbursements recoverability.

If you require assistance with any type of claim allocated to any track under CPR 26.9, we can assist with costs recovery.

ARC Costs are a team of highly experienced Costs Lawyers and Costs Draftsman who regularly assist with a wide range of legal costs disputes. 

As independent experts, we can act for either receiving or paying parties, in order to maximise or minimise the amount of legal costs recoverable.

For receiving parties in standard basis type disputes (Multi-Track disputes and non-fixed fee matters), we regularly assist with the preparation of your Costs Budget or Bill of Costs, conducting negotiations and detailed assessment proceedings. For paying parties, we narrow the legal areas in dispute, preparing Points of Dispute / Points of Reply, and seek to minimise your costs exposure at proportionate fees. 

If fixed costs apply, we can assist in CPR 45 costs disputes which commonly revolve around the application of the correct level of fixed costs, and also the value of disbursements.

 

For further information or to discuss your query, call one of the team or 01204 397302, or please email one our experts at info@arccosts.co.uk. Alternatively, you can contact us via submission of our contact form, and one of the team will give you a call back to provide free initial advice. 

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