- tocCivil Procedure Rules
Commercial Court Rules
SAINT LUCIA STATUTORY INSTRUMENT, 2015, No. 97
ARRANGEMENT OF RULES
[ 2nd November, 2015 ]
CLAIMS IN THE COMMERCIAL DIVISION
Contents of this Part
|Scope of this Part and interpretation||Rule 69C.1|
|Commercial List||Rule 69C.2|
|Proceedings in the commercial division||Rule 69C.3|
|Certificate of value||Rule 69B.4|
|Judgments and orders||Rule 69C.6|
|Headings of documents||Rule 69C.7|
|Disapplications and modifications having general effect in commercial claims||Rule 69C.8|
|Applications in commercial claims||Rule 69C.9|
|Case management conference in commercial claims||Rule 69C.10|
|Pre-trial review||Rule 69C.11|
|Trial bundles||Rule 69C.12|
|Costs – general||Rule 69C.13|
|Application for assessment||Rule 69C.14|
69C.1 -(1) This Part –
(a) applies to a claim in the commercial division of the Supreme Court sitting in the Member State of Saint Lucia;
(b) regulates the procedure of the commercial division of Saint Lucia in which this Part has come into effect;
(c) shall be read with the practice directions made for the purposes of this part.
(2) Subject to paragraph (3), a “commercial claim” means any claim, application or petition arising out of the transaction of trade and commerce and includes any claim relating to-
(a) a commercial contract;
(b) a provision of the law governing-
(i) a company,
(ii) an international business company,
(iii) a domestic and international banking and financial service,
(iv) a domestic insurance, re-insurance and international insurance,
(v) a domestic and international mutual fund,
(vi) a domestic and international trust,
(vii) a registered agent and trustee licensing, and
(viii) the registration of business names;
(c) a partnership;
(d) an insolvency;
(e) carriage of goods by sea, air or pipeline;
(f) exploitation of natural resources;
(g) operation of markets and exchanges including securities markets and exchanges;
(h) mercantile agency and usages;
(i) an intellectual property right;
(j) unfair competition; and
(3) Subject to paragraph (4), in order for a claim to qualify as a commercial claim, the claim or value of the subject matter to which the claim relates must be $200,000.00 or above:
Except that the amount referred to in this paragraph may be varied with respect to Saint Lucia by the Chief Justice and two other judges by notice in the Gazette.
(4) The judge may include on the commercial list a claim that does not satisfy the value under paragraph (3).
69C.2 -(1) The commercial list is a list of commercial claims commenced or proceeding in the commercial division.
(2) A judge assigned to the commercial division shall be in charge of the commercial list.
(3) Notwithstanding Rule 2.2(3)(e), these Rules and the practice direction relating to any rule apply to a claim on the commercial list unless this Part or a practice direction provides otherwise.
69C.3 -(1) A commercial claim may be placed on the commercial list at the time it is filed or pursuant to paragraphs (4), (5) and (6).
(2) The legal practitioner for the claimant or applicant filing a claim or application under Part 17 shall-
(a) file with the claim or application, a statement; and
(b) set out such facts relating to the claim, to the effect that the claim is appropriate to be treated as a commercial claim within the meaning of rule 69C.1 (2) and (3).
(3) The judge may order a claim to be transferred to any other list on the grounds that the judge is not satisfied that the claim is a commercial claim.
(4) Subject to paragraph (5), a party may apply to the judge to have a matter placed on the commercial list at any time before the first case management conference.
(5) The legal practitioner for a claimant or applicant who has filed a claim or application prior to the commencement of this Part, may apply to have that matter placed on the commercial list-
(a) in the case of a claim, no later than 3 months prior to the trial date; and
(b) in the case of an application, no later than 14 days prior to the date fixed for hearing.
(6) A claim may be placed on the commercial list by the Registrar of the court in consultation with the judge where it appears that the claim is a qualifying claim within the meaning of rule 69C.1 (2), (3) and (4) and that it is appropriate for the claim to be placed on the commercial list.
(7) A party to a claim placed on the commercial list, pursuant to paragraph (6), may apply to the judge at any time before the close of the case management conference for the claim to be transferred from the commercial list to another list.
(8) An application made under this rule must be supported by an affidavit.
69C.4 A certificate stating that the value of the claim or value of the subject matter that meets or exceeds the amount referred to in the rule 69C.1(3), must be included in the claim form.
69C.5 -(1) Part 10 applies to claims on the commercial list.
(2) For the purposes of this Part, the days referred to in rule
10.9 (1) (a) are varied to 21 days after the date of service of the defence.
Judgments and orders
69C.6 -(1) Notwithstanding rule 42.5, every judgment or order must be drawn up by one or more of the parties, except for a judgment or order made by the judge on his or her own initiative or unless he or she directs otherwise.
(2) An application for a consent order must –
(a) be made by one or more of the parties; and
(b) include a draft order signed by or on behalf of all the parties.
(3) The judge may consider an application under paragraph (2) without a hearing.
(4) Rule 42.7 does not apply to a claim made under this Part.
Headings of documents
69C.7 The claim form and every document required to be filed at the court office in a commercial claim must be headed –
In the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court In the High Court of Justice
Saint Lucia Commercial Division Claim No: [ ]HCM [year]/[no.],
and rule 8.1(4) shall be read with such modifications as are consistent with this rule and for the purposes of this Part.
69C.8 – (1) For the purposes of this Part-
(a) rule 22.1 (b) applies in a commercial claim relating to a partnership; and
(b) rule 22.2 applies in a commercial claim relating to a person, carrying on business within or outside Saint Lucia in which this Part has come into effect.
(2) Rule 22.3 does not apply in a commercial claim and a body corporate must be represented by a legal practitioner in a commercial claim.
(3) Where in a commercial claim a party-
(a) responds to a request for information from another party served under rule 34; or
(b) complies with any order directing that the party respond to a request for information served under rule 34, each separate response must be preceded by the exact wording of the request in respect of which that response is supplied.
(2) The lodging of bundles for the hearing of an application must be in accordance with the practice direction.
(3) Rule 11.11(1)(b) does not apply in a commercial claim and an application must be served as soon as practicable after the day on which it is issued.
(4) In the case of an application made on notice, the legal practitioner for the applicant shall within 7 days after the application has been served, arrange for the parties to contact the Case Management Unit of the Commercial Division in person or by telephone to arrange a date and time for hearing of the application.
(5) An application that is estimated to require a hearing of less than 2 hours is classed as a short application.
(6) The hearing of a short application shall be in accordance with the practice direction.
(7) An application in a commercial claim shall be supported by evidence on affidavit and the application and affidavit shall be filed and served together.
(8) Evidence in answer to an application must be served within 14 days of the application and any evidence in reply within 7 days after service of any evidence in answer.
(9) The time referred to in paragraph (8) may be extended or abridged by agreement in writing between the parties.
(10) The parties shall immediately inform the Case Management Unit of the Commercial Division and arrange for the hearing to be re-listed if –
(a) an extension is agreed between the parties before the respondent files his or her evidence; and
(b) the extension is likely to affect the date of the hearing.
(11) Notwithstanding any agreement between the parties to the contrary, in an appropriate case, the court may abridge the time referred to in paragraph (8) –
(a) either of its own motion; or
(b) on an application by a party.
(12) If the court or the Case Management Unit of the Commercial Division or any party to an application is of the view that a case management conference or pre-hearing review would enable the court to dispose of an application more efficiently, the court may direct that a case management conference or, as the case may be, a pre-hearing review be held –
(a) on its own motion;
(b) at the suggestion of the Case Management Unit of the Commercial Division; or
(c) on the application of any party.
(13) If the court directs a case management conference under paragraph (12), it shall direct that the case management conference be held on the first available date not earlier than 7 days after making the direction and rule 69C.10(7) applies with such modifications as may be necessary or appropriate.
(14) Where the court directs a pre-hearing review under paragraph (12), it shall direct the pre-hearing review to be held not later than 14 days before the date fixed for the hearing of the application and rule 69C.11 (1) to (6) shall apply with such modifications as may be necessary or appropriate.
(2) In a commercial claim the claimant or applicant shall not later than 7 days after the last party has served his or her defence or reply, as the case may be, provide the Case Management Unit of the Commercial Division with –
(a) an agreed written statement of the parties’ best estimate of the length of the trial or hearing; or
(b) if an agreed written statement cannot be provided, separate estimates by each party.
(3) Where, in a commercial claim the parties’ estimate, or the longest of the parties’ estimates of the length of the trial or hearing is more than one day, the Case Management Unit of the Commercial Division shall fix a case management conference for the first available date 6 weeks after the time limited by these Rules for the filing of a statement of case.
(4) Rule 27.5 does not apply in a commercial claim under this Part.
(5) The claimant or applicant shall, at least 3 clear days before the date set for the case management conference, lodge with the Case Management Unit of the Commercial Division a case management bundle.
(6) The content and preparation of case management bundles must be in accordance with the practice direction.
(7) In addition to rule 26.1, the court may give directions for a case management conference in a commercial claim as to-
(a) the nature and extent of any disclosure to be given;
(b) whether and to what extent witness statements are required and whether in all the circumstances certain issues or factual matters can more conveniently and economically be dealt with by witness summaries, whether or not a party is or is not able to obtain a witness statement from the witness in question;
(c) the nature of any expert evidence to be called, the identity of the respective parties’ experts and the timetable for exchange of experts’ reports or alternatively whether it is appropriate for evidence on one or more matters in issue to be given by a single expert pursuant to rules 32.9 and 32.11;
(d) whether the services of an interpreter will be necessary at trial;
(e) whether or not a pre-trial review should be held; and
(f) such other matters as it appears appropriate to provide for in the circumstances.
(8) If a party has sufficiently indicated to the other party and to the court his or her intention to make an application at the case management conference, it is not necessary for a party to make a stand- alone application under-
(a) rule 28.5 for the disclosure of specific documents; or
(b) rule 32.6 for permission to call expert evidence.
(2) Where the court directs that a pre-trial review is to be held in a commercial claim, the claimant shall lodge with the Case Management Unit of the Commercial Division, within 3 clear days before the hearing of the pre-trial review, a copy of the original case management bundle, updated by the inclusion of such subsequent material, only, as will enable the court to conduct an efficient and useful pre-trial review, together with an agreed trial timetable.
(4) If agreement cannot be reached the parties shall submit separate timetables.
(5) The trial timetables must be determined in accordance with the practice direction.
(6) Notwithstanding paragraph (5), if a pre-trial review is held the court shall give –
(a) directions as to the timetable to be followed at trial and such timetable may, among other things, dispense with or limit opening or closing oral submissions; and
(b) such other directions as may appear appropriate.
(7) Where no pre-trial review is held, the parties shall agree and not later than 14 days before the trial is to commence lodge with the Case Management Unit of the Commercial Division –
(a) an agreed timetable complying with the practice direction referred to in paragraph (5); or
(b) if an agreed trial timetable cannot be provided, then separate trial timetables.
(8) The Case Management Unit of the Commercial Division shall as soon as convenient inform the parties of the trial timetable that the judge proposes to adopt.
(9) Where a party is dissatisfied with the timetable proposed by the judge, that party shall apply to the Case Management Unit of the Commercial Division to fix a conference for the purpose of settling the trial timetable.
(10) Where the judge decides that the party at whose request the conference was convened acted unreasonably in requesting the conference, the judge may make an order that the party pay to the other party the costs of attending the conference.
(11) A party who elects not to call a witness in respect of whom a witness statement, witness summary or affidavit has been filed shall notify all other parties of that decision immediately after it has been taken.
(2) Not later than 6 weeks before the date fixed for trial, which includes the trial of a contested originating application, the claimant or in the case of a contested originating application, the applicant shall begin the process of agreeing with the other parties what documents should be included in the trial bundles.
(3) Trial bundles must be in accordance with the practice direction.
(4) Trial bundles must be completed and filed no later than 10 days before the date fixed for the commencement of the trial.
(5) Where a party objects to the admission in evidence of a particular document contained in the trial bundle, that party shall file a notice of objection within 7 days of the service of the trial bundle on that party.
(2) The court shall, after giving its decision in a trial or on an application, in the absence of agreement, determine, either immediately or at a hearing fixed for the purpose which, if any, party should pay costs to another party and the quantum of such costs.
(3) The statement required to be provided by rule 65.11(5) must be provided to the court before the hearing in question and must particularize the amount of time spent on the application by the legal practitioner or his or her partners or employees, specifying, in each case-
(a) the charge out rate of the relevant legal practitioner, partner or employee, and in the case of employees, identifying the positions held by them within the legal practitioner’s firm;
(b) the task or tasks undertaken by the respective legal practitioner, partner or employee; and
(c) the precise time spent upon each such task by the legal practitioner, partner or employee.
(4) If the hearing of an application has occupied the time of the court for one hearing day or less, the court shall immediately summarily assess the quantum.
(5) In cases where the hearing is more than one day the court may fix a hearing for the assessment of the quantum to be carried out by a judge or master.
69C.14 When the court has determined pursuant to rule 69C.13 that costs be assessed, any party may apply to a judge, master or officer charged with carrying out the assessment to have the quantum of such costs assessed and the judge, master or other such officer shall give directions for the conduct of the assessment.”.
Made this 27th day of October, 2015.
DAME JANICE M. PEREIRA,
DAVIDSON KELVIN BAPTISTE,
Justice of Appeal.
High Court Judge.