With the 75th Update to the Civil Procedure Rules (coming into force 1 October 2014), amendments to Practice Direction 21 (Children and Protected Parties) address the inconsistencies between the rules and practice direction in respect of the material that must be served and filed in relation to child/protected party settlement claims.
Paragraphs 5.1 and 6.4 are amended to read as follows (with amendments underlined):
5.1 Where a claim by or on behalf of a child or protected party has been dealt with by agreement before the issue of proceedings and only the approval of the court to the agreement is sought, the claim must, in addition to containing the details of the claim and satisfying the requirements of rule 21.10(2), include the following-
(1) subject to paragraph 5.3, the terms of the settlement or compromise or have attached to it a draft consent order in Practice Form N292;
(2) details of whether and to what extent the defendant admits liability;
(3) the age and occupation (if any) of the child or protected party;
(4) the litigation friend’s approval of the proposed settlement or compromise,
(5) a copy of any financial advice relating to the proposed settlement; and
(6) in a personal injury case arising from an accident-
(a) details of the circumstances of the accident,
(b) medical and quantum reports and joint statements material to the opinion required by paragraph 5.2,
(c) where appropriate, a schedule of any past and future expenses and losses claimed and any other relevant information relating to the personal injury as set out in Practice Direction 16, and
(d) where considerations of liability are raised-
(i) any evidence or reports in any criminal proceedings or in an inquest, and
(ii) details of any prosecution brought.
6.4 The court must be supplied with-
(1) an opinion on the merits of the settlement or compromise given by counsel or solicitor acting for the child or protected party, except in very clear cases; and
(2) a copy of any financial advice; and
(3) documentary evidence material to the opinion referred to at paragraph 6.4(1).