28 day Buffer Rule
A new 28 day buffer rule should ease the workload of the Courts who have been experiencing large numbers of applications for extensions of time.
The result of Mitchell v News Group Newspapers Limited was that even the smallest breach of a court timetable, such as being slightly over time and thus in breach of a court deadline would find themselves having to apply for relief from sanctions, for example the late filing of a cost budget.
On the 5th June a new 28 buffer rule came into operation under the Civil Procedure (Amendment No.5) Rules 2014. Rule 3.8 is amended to provide that parties may agree, in writing, to an extension of time, up to a maximum of 28 days without an application to the court. The parties may not make such an agreement, if the court has ordered that such an agreement cannot be made, or if any extension of time agreed puts the hearing date at risk.
Any case prior to the 5th June falls under the previous rule CPR 3.8, the parties having to apply to the court for any extension.
After 5th June that rule is amended so that the parties may before-hand, by written agreement, agree to extend the deadline up to 28 days so long as the court has no objection and it does not interfere with any court date fixed for the hearing.