The Civil Procedure Rules 1998

Part 2 – The Civil Procedure Rules 1998

June 2014  

19.9 Introduction

The Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) came into force on 26 April 1999 and replaced the Rules of the Supreme Court and the County Court Rules. The CPR were introduced to ensure: 

  • the civil justice system is accessible, fair and efficient, and
  • the rules are simple and simply expressed [Note 1].


19.10 Contents of the Civil Procedure Rules

The CPR is divided into 79 sections, called “Parts”. Each Part is subdivided into “rules”. The CPR contains two schedules:

  • Schedule 1 RSC rules - containing the High Court rules (based on the old Supreme Court rules), and
  • Schedule 2 CCR rules - containing the county court rules (based on the old county court rules).

The High Court and County Court procedures are not exactly the same. The rules in the schedules are referred to as “Rules of reference”.


19.11 Links to the Civil Procedure Rules and their schedules

The CPR together with their practice directions (see paragraph 19.17) are available here. Schedule 1 – RSC rules may be found here. Schedule 2 – CCR rules may be found here. 


19.12 The Civil Procedure Rules and insolvency

The majority of applications made by the official receiver within the insolvency proceedings will be covered by the Insolvency Rules 1986. Within the insolvency proceedings the CPR only apply where stated by the Insolvency Rules 1986 [Note 2]. Where the Insolvency Rules are silent on any matter reference should be made to The Civil Court Practice, published by Butterworths and referred to as “The Green Book” or to Sweet and Maxwell’s Civil Procedure, known as “The White Book”. Both publications contain the CPR, practice directions and the necessary forms. Paragraph 19.11 contains links to the CPR and the associated practice directions.


19.13 The Civil Procedure Rules and pre 6 April 2010 petition cases

For pre 6 April 2010 cases the CPR, practice and procedure of the High Court and of the County Court (including any practice direction) apply to insolvency proceedings in the High Court and the County Court as the case may be, in either case with any necessary modifications, except so far as inconsistent with the Rules.


19.14 The Civil Procedure Rules and post 6 April 2010 petition cases

The Insolvency (Amendment) Rules 2010 apply the CPR for all post 6 April 2010 petition cases in the table below. The first column of the table shows which provision of the CPR (including practice directions) apply to specific insolvency proceedings by virtue of the relevant Insolvency Rule in column two. For all other insolvency proceedings, not mentioned in the table, the CPR can be applied generally except where they are in conflict with specific provisions of the Act or Rules [Note 3]. 

CPR Provision

Insolvency Rule



CPR Part 6 (except 6.30 to 6.51)

(service of documents)


Part 12 A - Chapter 3 Rules 12A.16 to 12A.20

CPR Part 18 (further information)


Rules 7.60 and 9.2 (3)(b)

CPR Part 31 (disclosure and inspection of documents) 


Rules 7.60 and 9.2

CPR Part 37 (miscellaneous provisions about payments into court) 


Rule 7.59

CPR Parts 44 and 47 (costs)


Part 7 - Chapter 6 Rules 7.33A to 7.42


CPR Part 52 (appeals)

Rule 7.49



19.15 Application of the Civil Procedure Rules

The CPR apply in the Civil Division of the Court of Appeal, the High Court and the County Court. A rule in the CPR may be supplemented by a practice direction (see paragraph 19.17) which sets out in more detail the procedure to be followed. The link to the CPR (see paragraph 19.11) also includes further links to the practice directions.


19.16 The overriding objective of the Civil Procedure Rules 

The overriding objective of the CPR is to deal with cases justly and at proportionate cost [Note 4]. Achieving this objective involves, amongst other matters set out in the CPR, dealing with cases expeditiously and proportionately, ensuring the parties are on an equal footing, limiting costs as far as possible and ensuring the appropriate allocation of the court’s resources [Note 5].


19.17 Civil Procedure Rules practice directions

The CPR contains less detail than that provided in the Rules of the Supreme Court and the County Court Rules. To supplement the CPR directions may be issued. These directions are generally called “practice directions [Note 6]. Practice directions issued under the CPR have the force of law and are approved by the Chancellor of the High Court under an authority delegated by the Lord Chancellor.


19.18 Practice directions generally

The majority of CPR parts have a corresponding practice direction. However, whilst practice directions have close links to the individual parts of the CPR they also have other roles. Practice directions inform parties and their representatives what documents should be filed in court, how to comply with directions and how to co-operate with other parties to the case. Therefore it is usually insufficient to only look at the CPR rule. The official receiver should refer to both the CPR and the relevant practice direction to obtain a full picture of a procedure and its requirements.


19.19 Insolvency practice direction

A revised single practice direction for insolvency came into force on 23 February 2013. This practice direction consolidated most of the previous practice directions relating to insolvency. The insolvency practice direction is not wholly inclusive and other practice directions may also apply to insolvency proceedings, for example Practice Directions 6A and 6B on service of documents within and out of jurisdiction. A copy of the practice direction may be found here.


19.20 Civil Procedure Rules – case management

All defended claims are allocated to one of three tracks for case management purposes. The court will decide which track to allocate the case to after considering the original summons, an allocation questionnaire and, possibly, a hearing. The three tracks, currently, are: 

  • the small claims track (claims under £10,000),
  • the fast track (claims between £10,000 and £25,000), and
  • the multi-track (all other claims, see paragraph 19.22) [Note 7].


19.21 Case management – a flexible approach

The case management of a claim depends upon the value of the claim, its importance and its complexity. Each track requires a different degree of case monitoring. The more complex and important the case the more milestone events there are likely to be. Examples of milestone events include case management conference returns, the filing of the pre-trial checklist and the date of the trial. Whilst there is some flexibility in carrying out the directions of the court the milestones relevant to that track may not be affected.


19.22 Civil Procedure Rules – the multi-track

All insolvency proceedings, for example disqualification proceedings, should be allocated to the multi-track [Note 8]. The multi-track procedure provides a flexible regime for handling cases and does not provide a standard procedure as the small claims track and fast track procedures do. The multi-track procedure is usually managed by a Registrar (in the High Court) or a District Judge (in the County Court)  who may give directions for disclosure and inspection and hold case management conferences and pre-trial reviews to suit the individual circumstances of the case. A case management conference would identify the issues that need to be tried (and those that do not), assess the case and decide what matters need to be dealt with to prepare the case for trial.


19.23 Substituted service

The CPR replaced the term “substituted service” with “service by an alternative method” however “substituted service” remains unchanged in the Insolvency Rules 1986 and the term is used in the Practice Direction – Insolvency Proceedings. The official receiver should continue to use the term “substituted service” rather than “service by an alternative method”.


[Back to Part 1 Courts dealing with insolvency proceedings] [On to Part 3 Issuing proceedings under the Civil Procedure Rules]