Last edited 25 Sep 2020

Scott schedule

Scott schedules (sometimes referred to as ‘official referee schedules') were originally developed by George Alexander Scott, a surveyor and official referee, for use in building disputes. They are now commonly used for a variety of legal cases that involve complex arbitration where there are numerous claims, including; property law, family law, employment tribunals and so on.

A Scott schedule is essentially a table with inputs from both the claimant and respondent. Typically the claimant will set out their argument first, then the schedule is passed to the respondent to set out their response. This requires a degree of collaboration between the parties.

In the event that the dispute reaches the courts, the final column in the schedule is provided for the judge to give their decision against each item.

The Technology and Construction (TCC) describes a Scott schedule as ‘…a table, often in landscape format, in which the Claimant’s case on liability and quantum is set out item by item in the first few columns and the Defendant’s response is set out in the adjacent columns’ (TCC, Court Guide). They suggest it is suitable for ‘ involving a final account or numerous alleged defects or items of disrepair’ and that ‘…even where all the damage has been caused by one event, such as a fire, it can be helpful for the individual items of loss and damage to be set out in a Scott Schedule.’

The TCC suggests that the power of Scott schedules is in the information provided and their brevity, proposing that excessive repetition should be avoided. The response should be clear and specific, dealing with each issue and providing statements that make clear which claims are admitted or agreed, which are denied and why. More detailed explanations may be given in statements and in evidence in court.

A Scott schedule may be prepared by agreement by the parties (for example in a terminal dilapidations claim) or may be ordered by the court, in which case the judge may give directions for the relevant column headings. This is likely to include; the claim, the cost, the response, an alternative figure and the judge’s decision (see RICS, Example of a Scott schedule).

Scott schedules should only be used where they will lead to a saving in cost or time and where they are appropriate and proportionate.

In the case of a dilapidations claim, a Scott schedule may be an extended version of a schedule of dilapidations prepared by the landlord, enabling the tenant to respond to the quantified demand.

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[edit] External references

  • TCC, Court Guide Second Edition Issued 3rd October 2005, third revision with effect from 3 March 2014, HM Courts and Tribunals Service.

RICS, Example of a Scott Schedule.

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