It can sometimes be appropriate for elements of the claim to be set out by way of a Scott Schedule (i.e. by 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).

The Scott Schedule (“SS”) will not only identify the items in dispute but why they are in dispute e.g. is it the principle of the entitlement, the quantity of work or the rate or all of the aforesaid?

It never ceases to amaze me how such basic matters are not known by the parties to the dispute.

By assembling all the relevant allegations and defences or admissions in tabular form, if carefully drawn, will prevent confusion arising from the necessity of referring to two or three documents for individual items in dispute, and it will save valuable time and energy at any future trial.

Moreover, when it has been completed the parties may find that over a large number of small issues there is so little difference between them that they can be settled, thus reducing the dispute to a few substantial matters.

It is obviously essential that all parties’ allegations are properly particularised. If further information has to be sought and given, this information ought to be incorporated into a revised SS to save time at the hearing of the dispute.

There is no form prescribed by rules nor even by the textbooks, but an example of simple SS is given below They can, of course, if necessary, be adapted in accordance with common sense in order to present the issues in any particular case as clearly and conveniently as possible (whether before a DAB or arbitration tribunal).

Claims involving a final account or numerous alleged defects may be best formulated in this way, which then allows for a detailed response from the defendant.

Sometimes, 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 secret of an effective Scott Schedule lies in the information that is to be provided and its brevity: excessive repetition is to be avoided. This is defined by the column headings