6 July 2021
Witness Statements: Pitfalls, Practice Direction and Self-Preservation
Employment practitioners will be forgiven if the High Court case of Quilter Private Client Advisors Limited v Emma Falconer (1) Continuum (Financial Services) LLP (2)  EWHC 3294 (QB) has passed them by. It is, however, a salutary lesson in what can go wrong. Mr Justice Calver, in paragraph 101 of his judgment, described one witness statement as “everything which a witness statement should not be”. Describing the statement as “excessively and oppressively long”, he reminds us that statements:
- Should be in the witness’s own words wherever practicable;
- Should not regurgitate the pleaded case;
- Should not repeat what a witness’s ‘understanding’ is from, essentially, what they have been told by their solicitors;
- Should avoid being a “lawyer drafted submission”.
30 November 2023