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“Is a 50 page witness statement too long?”

Someone found us a few minutes ago with this search.

If you’re still there: the answer to your question is almost certainly yes. Claims aren’t won by boring the tribunal into submission. It’s possible in principle that your 50 page witness statement is all relevant to your claim and all needs to be said – but it’s awfully unlikely. Most pieces of writing will be improved by being cut by 25 to 50%. If you can get your statement down to 20 or so pages, you will probably improve your chances.

5 comments

  1. RP

    Perhaps an example of where such a lengthy statement might be necessary is a discrimination claim involving allegations of a long-running campaign of discriminatory acts. It is not too hard to imagine the claimant’s description of all the incidents involved running to 50 pages (especially double spaced, as witness statements tend to be), and perhaps even less hard to imagine the key alleged discriminator’s description of why they were not discriminatory running even longer.

    I agree that such cases and statements tend to be the rare exception rather than the rule, though.

  2. Teresa

    I would just like to say that in my constructive unfair dismissal case my statement was 64 pages long and the judge appeared happy with the length of it. It also enabled me to win my case in which I represented myself. It was comprehensive so I did not have to focus on the facts whilst I was being questioned and whilst I questioned the respondent.

  3. Naomi

    There are cases where a long statement will be necessary, but they are exceptional – and in the nature of things, most cases aren’t exceptional.

    The length of your statement won’t normally determine the outcome of the case anyway – it certainly shouldn’t. A claimant with good case shouldn’t lose just because he or she can’t see the wood for the trees: in the end, that’s the tribunal’s job.

    But you do improve your chances if you make the tribunal’s task as easy as possible.

  4. Bill Ryan

    I agree entirely with the sentiment that lengthy evidence could be detrimental.

    However lengthy but focused/cogent evidence is fine if it is that. As long as it is relevant and helps to properly explain the actions complained of there should ultimately be no problem.

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