letter before claim in debt recovery

Statements of Truth

The purpose of the statement of truth is to confirm that you believe that the facts stated in the entire statement are true. If a witness statement is not verified by a statement of truth, then it may not be admissible as evidence. There are also penalties for verifying false statements with a statement of truth.

Our lawyers specialise in litigation. We will guide you through any stage in your litigation process. Whether you are a litigant in person seeking legal advice or you have instructed solicitors and are seeking a second opinion on strategy.

The information published on this website is: (a) for reference purposes only; (b) does not create a contractual relationship; (c) does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such; and (d) is not a complete or authoritative statement of the law. Specific legal advice about your circumstances should always be sought.

What is the template format for a statement of truth?

As per the Civil Procedure Rules (at CPR 22), the statement of truth used to verify statements of case, witness statements and other documents that are important to the litigation should be as follows:

‘[I believe][the (claimant or as may be) believes] that the facts stated in this [name document being verified] are true. I understand that proceedings for contempt of court may be brought against anyone who makes, or causes to be made, a false statement in a document verified by a statement of truth without an honest belief in its truth.’

CPR Part 22, Rule 2.2

What form should a statement of truth be to verify a costs budget?

The form of the statement of truth verifying a costs budget should be as follows:

‘This budget is a fair and accurate statement of incurred and estimated costs which it would be reasonable and proportionate for my client to incur in this litigation.’

CPR Part 22, Rule 2.2A

What is a statement of truth?

In litigation, any statement of case or witness statement must be verified by a statement of truth. Part 22 of the Civil Procedure Rules sets out provisions for statements of truth.

What is the purpose of a statement of truth?

A statement of truth is a statement contained in a document confirming that:

  • The person making the statement of truth believes that the facts stated in the document are true; and
  • Proceedings for contempt of court may be brought against anyone who makes a false statement (or causes a false statement to be made) in a document verified by a statement of truth without an honest belief in its truth.

It is vital to validate relevant documents with a statement of truth, as a failure to do so can have severe repercussions. For example, if a statement of case is not verified, the party will be unable to rely on it as evidence of any of the matters set out in it and, under the relevant rules, it could even be struck out (although this is rare in practice). If a witness statement is not verified by a statement of truth, it may not be admissible as evidence.

When are statements of truth required?

During the course of your claim, we are likely to create several documents, the contents of which will need to be verified by a statement of truth. These include:

Application notices (which are used to apply to Court for a particular order) if you will need to rely on matters set out in a notice as evidence.

Who can sign a statement of truth?

In relation to statements of case, you will usually be the person who signs the statement of truth. In order to avoid making a false statement of truth, you should ensure that you are familiar with all the relevant facts and background to your case.

In relation to witness statements, only the witness themselves is able to sign the statement of truth verifying their statement. Nobody else can do this for the witness.

Can a lawyer sign a statement of truth on behalf of a client?

It is possible for a legal representative to sign the statement of truth in some documents, such as statements of case, in exceptional circumstances (for example, where the relevant person is out of the country). However, it is obviously more appropriate for the client who has first-hand knowledge of the background facts to sign.

Consequences of inaccurate evidence verified by a statement of truth

Signing a statement of truth or allowing a solicitor to sign where you know that a document contains a false statement may lead to you being contempt of court (CPR 32.14).

Part VI of Part 81 of the Civil Procedural Rules contains rules about committal applications in relation to making, or causing to be made a false statement in a document verified by a statement of truth without an honest belief in its truth.

What are the penalties for making a false statement of truth?

The penalties for signing a statement of truth without an honest belief in the truth of the facts being verified are potentially severe. A person who makes a false statement in litigation in an attempt to interfere with the course of justice will be in contempt of court, which is punishable by a prison sentence of up to two years.

Bearing this in mind, if the person signing the statement of truth at the end of a statement of case does not have first-hand knowledge of all facts and matters set out in it, they will need to carry out sufficient investigations to satisfy themselves of the truth of all those matters.

A person can be liable for contempt of court, even if they have asked someone else to sign the statement of truth on their behalf. Those who are potentially liable to be held in contempt of court for a false statement of truth are:

  • The person who signed the false statement of truth;
  • A colleague of that person, if they caused the false statement of truth to be made; and
  • A person who authorises their legal representative to sign the false statement of truth.

Instruct expert litigation solicitors

We​ ensure that we provide the best possible outcome for our clients by conducting in depth investigation and research into the realistic prospects of a case before selecting the appropriate course of action in order to reduce time and expense. We are extremely experienced and capable at navigating our clients through the litigation process.

The information published on this website is: (a) for reference purposes only; (b) does not create a contractual relationship; (c) does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such; and (d) is not a complete or authoritative statement of the law. Specific legal advice about your circumstances should always be sought.

Check Your Litigation Case ✔We analyse your case prospects. We deliver strategic legal advice at your first meeting. We get optimal legal results. Want a first or second opinion on your case? Click below or call our lawyers in London on ☎ 02071830529

Check your case✔

Check Your Litigation Case ✔

We analyse your case prospects. We deliver strategic legal advice at your first meeting. We get optimal legal results. Want a first or second opinion on your case? Click below or call our lawyers in London on ☎ 02071830529