The Ministry of Justice have released the 97th Amendment to the Civil Procedure Rules, which come into effect on 7 May 2018. Parts 36 and 45 of the CPR have been amended to extend the fixed costs provisions applicable to claims started under the Pre-Action Protocol for Low Value Personal Injury (Employers’ Liability and Public Liability) Claims to claims to which the new Pre-Action Protocol for Resolution of Package Travel Claims (also introduced on 7 May 2018) applies. The new Pre-Action Protocol has been introduced due to the dramatic increase in holiday sickness claims in recent years.
The 97th Amendment also introduces a new practice direction, PD 2E, titled Jurisdiction of the County Court that may be exercised by a legal adviser. Legal advisers will be able to undertake many aspects of box work, which previously were usually allocated to a District Judge. The introduction of legal advisers follows a pilot scheme under PD51 Q, which has now been removed from the rules.