Listing Questionnaire: Completing your Pre-Trial Checklist

 

 

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What is a Listing Questionnaire/Pre-Trial Checklist?

A listing questionnaire (pre-trial checklist Form N170) is used on both Fast Track and Multi Track cases when requested by the Court, before a Trial takes place. Specific information, such as the number and availability of legal representatives, experts and witnesses, will be requested from parties within the form. Details of any further directions required, a proposed timetable for trial and an estimate of overall costs will also be required within the N170 Form.

 

When and Why is a Listing Questionnaire Required?

A Listing Questionnaire is not required on all cases. The Court will usually request that the N170 Form is completed so that they can determine whether all directions have been adhered to. It will also allow the Court to determine whether any further directions are required before the Trial.

Completion of the pre-trial checklist will allow the court to plan appropriate Court resources, assess the evidence that is likely to be proposed at the Trial, provide further directions, and set a date for the Trial.

Parties do not need to exchange their listing questionnaires; however, an exchange of copies can ensure the Court is provided with consistent details and information.

 

How to complete a Pre-Trial Checklist?

To complete a Pre-Trial checklist, you must fill in Form N170. This is a standard form which can be obtained from the Court Service’s website, or a hard copy can be obtained from the Court itself. The Court will stipulate the date on which all parties should complete, file and serve their questionnaire. A Solicitor will usually complete a listing questionnaire on behalf of their client.

 

Preliminary Matters

Preliminary matters is the first section that should be completed, located on the top of the form. This section requires basic information to be provided, such as the parties name, status, claim number, and the Court in which the claim is proceeding. The Trial window should also be listed within this section.

 

Part A

In Part A, parties should confirm whether the directions previously provided by the Court have been adhered to. If any direction has not been complied with, they should be stated within this section and a date by which these will be complied with should be provided.

 

Part B

Part B of a Listing Questionnaire deals with witnesses. Parties should disclose the number of witnesses providing evidence on their behalf at the Trial. Parties should also specify any dates on which witnesses will be unable to attend Court, and provide reasons why they will be unable to attend.

If a witness is unable to attend Court, the Court may attempt to avoid setting the date for trial on these days; however, this is not guaranteed and in some cases, a witness may be served with a witness summons, compelling them to attend the trial.

Parties should also state if any of their witnesses need special arrangements or facilities, for example, due to a disability. If a party will be providing an interpreter for a witness, this should also be disclosed within this section of the questionnaire.

 

Part C

Parties will need to confirm within Part C of the Pre-Trial Checklist whether any expert witnesses will be used to provide evidence at the trial. The name and expertise of each expert should be provided and parties should state whether or not they are a joint expert, whether the report has been agreed between parties, and whether permission has been granted for them to provide oral evidence at the trial.

Parties should also specify any dates on which experts will be unable to attend Court, and provide reasons why they will be unable to attend.

 

Part D

Legal representation is dealt with in Part D of the form. Parties should specify whether they will be represented by a Solicitor or Barrister at the Trial, or if they are representing themselves. Parties should also specify any dates on which their legal representatives will be unable to attend Court, and provide reasons for why they will be unable to attend on each particular date.

 

Part E

Within Part E, the Trial itself will be dealt with. Parties should verify whether or not the estimate of time required for the trial has changed, and provide a revised estimate if it has changed. Parties should also confirm whether this revised estimate has been agreed between parties.

If the case is a Multi Track case, a timetable for trial should be attached to the Listing Questionnaire, setting out how long each element of the trial is likely to take.

If the case is a Fast Track case, parties should state whether or not they are prepared to accept a trial date at less than three weeks notice.

 

Part F

Part F of the Listing Questionnaire deals with fees and documents. Parties should confirm which documents they are attaching and whether they are attaching a listing fee, which is payable by the Claimant.

An estimate of costs to date and an estimate of predicted overall costs should also be included within this section.  If the proceedings are allocated to the Multi Track, Costs Budgets will already have been prepared and set, and this will take the place of any requirement for a costs estimate. 

 

Final Matters

The Listing Questionnaire should be signed and dated by the part or their legal representative. Contact details of the legal representative should also be provided in this section. The form should then be sent to the Court alongside the listing fee, if required.

 

Estimating Costs for a Pre-Trial Checklist

Before the introduction of Costs Budgeting, a pre trial checklist estimate of costs was always required within a listing questionnaire.  Costs Budgets have replaced these estimates in Multi-Track matters, but such estimates are still required in Fast Track type disputes.

Despite the introduction of Costs Budgets, many legal representatives now review and update their Costs Budgets when considering costs for a Pre-Trial Checklist, as such work is specifically recoverable under the Precedent H Guidance Notes . If changes are required to the Costs Budget at this stage (for instance it is found that changes in circumstances of the case have led to significant overspend in phases), a Precedent T will be required.

In non-budgeted cases, legal representatives must ensure their legal costs are reviewed and a Costs Estimate is filed with the Listing Questionnaire, and that an N260 Statement of Costs is completed in good time for the Trial.

We would encourage parties to use a pre-trial checklist estimate of costs in Fast Track cases which are not covered by fixed costs.

 

How can ARC Costs Assist?

Our team of Costs Draftsmen and Costs Lawyers regularly provide trusted legal information and advice to our clients on costs matters regarding listing questionnaires.

ARC costs can also assist in the preparation of Costs Budgets (Precedent H), Budget variation noticesBills of CostsPoints of Dispute and replies to points of dispute in all matters involving costs recovery.

As independent costs experts, we facilitate either paying or receiving parties, and have a strong practice in negotiating legal costs on your behalf. Our specialist Costs Lawyers can also provide representation at detailed assessment hearings or CCMCs on your behalf. 

If you are currently considering the options for your case and require legal information regarding pre-trial costs, or any other costs law issue, please contact us through our free chat facility. Otherwise, you can contact one of our experts on 01204 397302 or contact us via email at info@arccosts.co.uk.

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