We have lift off!

By | 4th June 2013

Do you remember Major Tom (David Bowie)?

More of him later, but Captain Ron?! 

To be honest, I have not actually met Captain Ron. However, I know about him because I was having dinner recently in Santa Monica, California at The Galley Restaurant and Bar and found myself being served by one of Captain Ron’s staff in the form of waitress Jonquil Goode. The restaurant is gaudily decorated like the inside of a Christmas tree which I am not sure would go down in the more staid parts of the UK but which did not seem at all out of place in the US. The food was excellent, my dinner companion delightful and our conversation with Jonquil was inspiring. If you want somewhere to eat in Santa Monica, you could hardly do better, particularly if you are lucky enough to be served by Jonquil!

But back to Major Tom. For months, commentators have been talking about the changes to the rules (CPR) which finally came into force on April 1st this year. For those of you coming to this blog for the first time or who have been on a trip to the planet Mars over the past few years, this may come as a surprise.

For those of you who have kept up with developments you may have been wondering  if I was going to put together a comprehensive summary of the changes. Frankly, I have to confess thatI have been put off by the piecemeal way in which the rules were introduced and the plethora of comment elsewhere in the legal press and online.

Pure laziness on my part, you may think, but help is at hand! I was delighted to be directed recently to one of a series of articles in the New Law Journal written by His Honour Judge Simon Brown QC, the designated mercantile judge for the Midlands sitting at the Birmingham Civil Justice Centre.

Simon Brown has been in the forefront of the drive to introduce reforms to the litigation process over the past few years particularly in the realms of e-disclosure and proper costs management. He is well qualified to write on the subject as he regularly puts his ideas into practice. He is now in prime position to influence the way in which litigation is handled in the courts for which he has responsibility.

As a way to salve my conscience, this article is manna from heaven as it is not only one of a series but contains links to the other articles already published. But what makes it truly awesome is the judge’s reference to David Bowie’s Major Tom. If you are interested to know what Simon’s advice is about CMCs, then look at the Major Tom.pdf attached to the article and you will see what I mean by “we have lift off”.

If you do not want to be left in ignorance as to what is now required and in not so heavenly limbo at the CMC, read what the judge says about budgets, cost control and teaching old dogs new tricks. There are also references to two relatively new cases: Safetynet Security Ltd v Coppage and another company [2012] All ER (D) 57 (Dec)) and Slick Seatings Systems v Adams anor

The Slick Seatings case has not yet been reported but I understand it is a case which demonstrates excellent cost and budgetary control. I urge you to read these short articles now, as they contain priceless advice and insight from one of the judges who may be hearing a case near you soon!