Practice Direction No 9/2006

 

IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE IN NORTHERN IRELAND

CHANCERY OFFICE / BANKRUPTCY AND COMPANIES OFFICE

PRACTICE DIRECTION: UNIQUE SOLICITOR’S REFERENCE

 

  1. With effect  from 9 February 2007 all originating and interlocutory processes, all

affidavits, notices, books of  pleadings and any other documents which are required to be lodged or filed in the Chancery Office or the Bankruptcy and Companies Office (via Front of House or direct) must display a unique solicitor’s reference (“USR”) in brackets immediately after the name and address (or name where the address is not required) of the issuing, filing or lodging solicitors.

 

  1. The USR should be as specific as the firm’s own arrangements for identifying the

solicitor or solicitors having  carriage and any legal executive or other member of staff sharing carriage of the case may permit.  Where the case file is referred to in the firm by a numerical or other code that should be included and would normally be the last part of the reference as shown in the following example.

 

  1. Where Avril Brown is the principal having main carriage, Colin Devlin an assistant solicitor sharing carriage and the legal secretary mostly involved is Edith Fox the USR might read as follows:-

“(Solicitors’ Reference AB/CD/EF/59872)”

 

  1. The key priority, however, is identifying the individual solicitor having carriage

of the matter on a day-to-day basis in a manner consistent with the convention used by the firm.  Therefore if it is the firm’s practice in correspondence to, eg, open their numerical reference for a particular case before identifying the solicitor and other personnel having carriage, or to identify the assistant solicitor having carriage without identifying any principal, that may be followed on the relevant document to be filed.  However it is essential that the USR should enable the firm, in response to any contact from the Office, to:-

 

(i)                  identify immediately the solicitor having predominant or exclusive carriage of the case within the firm; and

 

(ii)       locate the firm’s case file swiftly.

 

                                  Dated   19   December 2006

 

By the Direction of The Honourable Mr Justice Weir

 

 

 

                        Master Ellison                                                  Master Kelly