A  report by Tom Gibson in PI Brief Update makes worrying reading. The headline reads

Would a district judge strike out a costs budget because it contained the phrase “[Statement of truth]”, in square brackets, rather than the full statement of truth wording? Yes, in this particular case, so be warned!”

The report can be found at PI Brief update. The full report is behind a paywall. However the summary itself gives cause for concern.

See the report at


1. Following the initial posting I have had a message on twitter from Andrew McKie of clerksroom who states

“colleague of mine had one last week costs budget disallowed as wrong statement if truth on it”.

2. See also the comment on this section which points out that the Ministry of Justice precedent itself omitted the statement of truth.


  1. A trap for the unwary, but one created very much by the Ministry of Justice itself. Why they saw fit to create, distribute and publish (on their Civil Procedure Rules pages no less) a Precedent H template which omitted the appropriate statement of truth I will never know.

    I trust the Ministry of Justice will be immediately changing the Precedent H pdf templates on their website ( and to do away with the square brackets and replace it with the standard PD22 2.2A wording from the get go.

    Or perhaps not.

  2. […] check whether the order says “exchange” or “serve on each other”, and make sure you don’t have square brackets in the wrong place in any document. Oh, and check your professional negligence policy. All done? Welcome […]

  3. […] struck out a costs budget because of square brackets round the statement of truth – see Exall More Mitchell mayhem: Use of square brackets leads to costs budget being disallowed. I would like to see the written judgment before condemning this as idiocy, but I have met a few […]

  4. […] Gordon Exall’s blog (Civil Litigation Brief) recently reported on a case where a district judge struck out a budget because the statement of […]

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