Exchanging witness statements in a hurry

In an ideal world, witness statements would be ready days, if not weeks, before they had to be exchanged. There would even be lots of time for tweaking, polishing and general fiddling with them, to make sure they were absolutely perfect.

In the real world, witness statements often have to be prepared quickly.

Even when you are in a rush it is important to make sure that the statement is complete and accurate. In particular, advisors must always make sure that their client has read and agreed the statement before it is exchanged.

If you are really rushed there are ways of cutting corners, without causing problems.

Exchange unsigned statements

It is often easier to get confirmation that a statement is okay than it is to get a signed copy from the client. There is nothing wrong with exchanging unsigned statements. It is simply a myth that statements must be signed before they are exchanged.

Leave page numbers blank

Sometimes you will need to exchange statements before the agreed bundle has been finalised. If this happens it is normally sensible to leave space to insert page numbers later. This allows you to exchange on time, but still provide the tribunal with a copy with cross-references to the bundle of documents.

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