The judge overseeing Slater and Gordon’s claim alleging misrepresentation over the disastrous Quindell acquisition has moved to limit the extent of witness statements that could be brought during the trial.

In an application hearing for Slater and Gordon (UK) v Watchstone Group at the Rolls Building today, Mr Justice Christopher Butcher said he was concerned by applications to rely on eight witness statements, each of which could stretch to more than 30 pages. Butcher said there was ‘no upper limit’ to this and that he was ‘not very keen on what could be an enormous amount of witness statements’.

Instead, it was agreed that counsel will have to make an application to include any witness statement of more than 30 pages.

Australian-listed Slater and Gordon is suing Watchstone, formerly known as Quindell, over the £637m purchase of its professional services division in 2015.  The deal had dire consequences for the law firm, sending its share price tumbling. Last year, the firm broke off its UK business.

Slater and Gordon said that ‘but for fraudulent misrepresentation’ it would not have bought the professional services division. Watchstone strongly denies any misrepresentation.

Slater and Gordon is represented by City firm CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang, instructing Oliver Jones of Brick Court Chambers. Watchstone is represented by US firm Dorsey & Whitney with Richard Millett QC of Essex Court Chambers acting as counsel.