Signing a Statement of Truth

Can I sign a statement of truth under the Civil Procedure Rules?

Certain documents in civil proceedings must be verified by the signing of a statement of truth. Paragraph 3 of Practice Direction 22 of the Civil Procedure Rules ('CPR') sets out who may sign the statement of truth and how. It may be signed by the legal representative, who must state the capacity in which he or she signs and give the name of his or her firm, but must sign in his or her own name and not that of the firm.

Therefore a member employed in a solicitors firm can sign the statement of truth in their own name. Some difficulty arises because many forms refers to “claimant” or “claimant’s solicitor” and have not been updated to reflect that the claimant’s legal representative might not be a solicitor. Members are advised that they should strike out “solicitor” and write “legal representative” or “Chartered Legal Executive litigator”.

For members who work in-house, 3.11 of Practice Direction 22 should be considered. The example provided here is for application of the Practice Direction, although it is not an indication of how a court might apply the Practice Direction to a specific situation. However, this specifically states that whilst rule 2.3(1) says a legal representative employed by a party may sign a statement of truth, a person who is not a solicitor, barrister, or other authorised litigator, but who is employed by the company and managed by such a person, is not employed by that person, and so cannot sign a statement of truth (this is unlike an employee in private practice).

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