The introduction of the pre-action protocol has significantly reduced the prospect of being ‘ambushed’ by proceedings in Northern Ireland, explains Amanda Wylie

Neither the Woolf reforms nor the Jackson reforms have been extended to Northern Ireland, where civil procedure continues to be governed by the Rules of the Court of Judicature (NI) 1980, unbound by costs budgets and iron-fisted sanctions. That is not to say, however, that litigating commercial disputes in Northern Ireland is the same today as it was in the 90s.

In particular, there continues to be a shift in focus to the overriding objectives: that the parties should be on an equal footing, that litigation is dealt with expeditiously and fairly, and that costs are proportionate to the size of the claim and complexity of the issues.

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