Short lived - how to encourage litigants into the shorter and flexible trial schemes
The shorter trial scheme (STS) and flexible trial scheme (FTS) became permanent under PD 57AB in the Business and Property Courts on 1 October 2018. Since then, take-up has been limited despite the schemes’ practical advantages. Users of either the STS or the FTS can expect reduced costs, shorter trials, earlier trial dates and quicker judgments. Given the clear benefits, why are more parties not making use of the schemes?
In an article published by Legal Futures, John McElroy and Jonathan Amior have collated ideas on this issue from the London Solicitors Litigation Association Committee, as well as adding some of their own. The article makes a number of suggestions which might increase popularity, including extending the duration for trials under the schemes, providing judges with the express power to transfer cases and generally promoting the benefits to a broader audience.