Bundles - How to Create an Application Bundle

What is an Application Bundle?

An application is a request for a procedural order (e.g. for permission to use an expert witness) or for temporary relief (e.g. an injunction preserving the status quo on the ground until trial). The person applying for an injunction lodges with the court office an Application Notice, a draft order - setting out what order they would like the court to make - and a witness statement(s) which will refer to several documents (or small groups of related documents) identified as exhibits (with each exhibit having a front sheet before the document identifying which exhibit number it is). The party responding to the application may or may not lodge a witness statement(s) and exhibits in response, and the party applying will sometimes lodge a further witness statement (and possibility new exhibits) in response to that. Unlike a trial, which will typically take a few days and which is the culmination of the whole litigation process which takes many months, an application hearing normally last no more than 2 hours and it is often only a week or two between the applicant lodging an Application Notice, draft order, witness statement and exhibits, and requesting a hearing, and the hearing taking place, with the other party's (Respondent's) witness statement (and any exhibits) being lodged perhaps only a few days before the hearing of the application. If there are very few pages the court/tribunal may simply use the loose witness statements, exhibits, Application Notice and draft order, but often the court/tribunal will require an Application Bundle to be produced by one of the parties. In an Application Bundle every page has a page number and the judge and each party at the hearing have identical copies of the Bundle.  

As well as being paginated - having each page numbered consecutively - the Application Bundle will have an Index at the front. Despite its name, the Index is not like the index of an ordinary book. An ordinary non-fiction book will have a table of contents at the front listing each section or chapter in the order it appears with the page number, and there will also be an index at the back listing alphabetically people, places, topics etc. with the page number where that person, place, or topic is referred to in the book. The Index of a Application Bundle is not at all like an alphabetic index that you find at the end of a typical book. It is at the front and is really a table of contents but a bit more detailed than the average table of contents in a book. Why is it called an Index? The word Index is actually an old word for a table of contents, rarely used in this sense now outside the legal context, but this is still its primary meaning when used by lawyers and judges.

it is usual to arrange an Application Bundle in the following sections:

Index. This will list, with page numbers, each exhibit (with a brief description - not just the exhibit number) but generally not each document within an exhibit because each exhibit which contains more than one document will itself have a list of the documents in the exhibit on its front sheet. All other documents not contained within exhibits (pleadings, Application Notice, Orders, witness statements) will be individually listed in the index with page numbers. 

Application Notice & Draft Order 

Chronology. This is a list, with dates, of the main events relevant to the Application. Depending on the nature of the Application and when it is made, this could be procedural events (when the litigation was started, when various orders were made by the court/tribunal, when the Application Notice was issued, etc.) or it could be central facts in the case such as when the actions such as trespass to land, starting building work, start of a rival business by former employees etc., against which an injunction is sought, took place. Or it may be a combination of both procedural events and facts on the ground.      

Applicants's witness statement and exhibits

Respondent's witness statement and exhibits

Creating an Application Bundle Manually      

You could create an Application Bundle manually by photocopying the documents to be included in the Application Bundle, arranging them in order, page-numbering them using a black ball point pen, typing up and printing the Index, and then photocopying the result as many times as necessary to produce the required number of copies of the Application Bundle. However it is much easier to use a computer service to create the Application Bundle automatically and the remainder of this article assumes that you will be creating an Application Bundle automatically.  

Creating an Application Bundle PDF Automatically

The basic method is that you store each PDF to be included in the bundle on your computer with a appropriate descriptive name which is suitable for use in an Index such as:-

Application Notice
Draft Order
Witness Statement - John Smith
Exhibit JKS1 - Photographs
Exhibit JKS2 - Correspondence
Exhibit JKS3 - Accounts

and then load the PDFs into a commercial web-based bundle generating service. Specifically CaseLines is recommended because it is simple and fast and allows you to give online access (read-only or update as desired) to a barrister you instruct to draft documents for the appeal and/or to the other side, which can be important as the bundle usually needs to be prepared quickly and often only a day or two just before the hearing. 

Printing out and assembling the Bundle

1. Open and print the bundle PDF file created by Caselines. The bundle must be printed in colour: this is not only because some pages may contain photographs or colour-coded plans but because the page number on every page is in red and red printed in greyscale can be difficult to see.

2. When you have printed out the bundle pages, hole punch them and file them in one or more lever arch file/ring binders, depending on how many pages there are (to be easily usable a lever arch file should not contain more than 300 sheets). 

3. The very first page of the Index PDF is a title page giving the name and number of the case and the title of the bundle (e.g. Application Bundle) in tramlines. The first page filed should always be the first page of the Index (i.e. the second page of the PDF if the first page of the PDF is a title page) so that the index can be seen immediately on opening the file without having to turn over a page which merely contains the title of the case.  The initial page containing only the title is intended to be stuck on the outside of the front cover of the volume, though you can write your own sticky label to put on the front of the volume, containing the same information, if that is easier, rather than use the title page. As well as sticking the title page to the front (or using a sticky label on the front) you should put a sticky label on the outside spine with the case number and case name in large writing.   

4. It will assist the court/tribunal if tabs are inserted in front of each witness statement, in front of each exhibit, and in front of the application notice, draft order, and chronology, with the name of the document written on the tab, as illustrated below. Sometimes, at the time an application bundle is being prepared, witness statements and exhibits have not yet been received from the Respondent. In this case a tab can be added after the last page of the bundle marked "Respondent's witness statements and exhibits". The Index can then include a line at the end "Respondent's witness statements and exhibits (to be added)" giving the page number from which the Respondent's witness statement and exhibits will be later added but, of course, in this case, it would not be possible to list in the index the individual witness statements and exhibits from the Respondent.  


5. Repeat steps 1 to 4 above to produce several identical copies of the bundle. Unless the rules or specific directions given by the court or tribunal, require more, for a short hearing before a single judge where no witnesses will be giving live evidence, you generally need one copy for the judge and two copies for each party (one for the party themselves and one for the party's barrister).

NOTE: See here if you need assistance - e.g. If your printer is too slow for the volume involved.

Delivering the Bundle

When you deliver a copy of the bundle to the court/tribunal office (whether by post or hand delivery) it should be accompanied by a covering letter giving

  • the name of the case
  • the number of the case
  • the word URGENT and the date and time of the hearing - e.g. "URGENT bundle for hearing at 10.30 on Thursday 17th November 2016"
  • Your name and contact details

Different courts and tribunals have different rules and deadlines, but generally speaking:

  • There will an early deadlines by which each party must deliver to the court/tribunal office, and to the other party, documents (such as witness statements and exhibits) which it wishes to rely on at the application hearing.

  • There will be a later deadline - sometimes the morning of the day before the hearing but often earlier than that - by which the party which has the responsibility for doing so must deliver copies of the Application Bundle (containing copies of documents already delivered, in a convenient form, indexed and paginated) to the court/tribunal and to the other side.

Generally speaking it will the copies of documents in the Bundle (rather than the loose documents delivered earlier) which will be used by the judge, and delivering the Bundle on time is crucial, but even if the Bundle itself is delivered on time, if individual documents in it were not delivered by the earlier deadlines the application (or resistance to the application) may be dismissed, or a party may be penalised by a costs order or other sanction, particularly if one party is prejudiced by the earlier late delivery (e.g. if a party had insufficient notice of the evidence/arguments they had to respond to).

So meeting all deadlines is very important but, that said, if a deadline is missed it does not always mean disaster and if you have missed a deadline there may be things you can do to mitigate. For example:

  • Generally speaking it being slightly late is better than being very late.

  • An important part of the reason for the earlier deadlines is so that your opponent has proper time to consider matters. If you are going to miss a deadline, consider whether there is any practical way you can lessen the impact on your opponent. For example if the rules require you to deliver a witness statement in paper form and you will not be able to do this on time, if you email a copy to your opponent (and contact them to draw the email copy to their attention) before the deadline, that will lessen the practical disadvantage caused by late delivery of the paper copy and, all other things being equal, the court/tribunal may be less inclined to impose a sanction.     

  • It is better to deliver a bundle containing all required documents slightly late, than to deliver on time a bundle with crucial documents missing.

  • If a document is not crucial it may be better to omit it so that a bundle can be delivered on time. For example if the bundle already contains four reasonably good photographs it would be counterproductive to delay delivery of it a long time after the deadline just so that a fifth photograph, which adds very little, can be included.

  • The reason why bundles are delivered to the court/tribunal office some time in advance of the hearing is so that they can be provided to the judge who will, if time allows, be able to read them in advance. Each court/tribunal office will have administrative procedures which may mean that if a bundle is delivered late - even if only by a few minutes - it may only reach the judge very much later or perhap, even, not at all. If you are late in delivering, therefore, it is worth bringing a further copy to the hearing. Obviously if the judge sees the bundle for the first time at the hearing, that is not good, but it is better than not having a bundle at all.

  • Similarly with delivery of the bundle to the other side. If you are late in delivering, bring another copy to the hearing in case the other side turn up without their copy.         


The information on this page about specific computer techniques is provided for information purposes only. Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate and up to date at the time it was written but no responsibility for its accuracy, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed by me. You should satisfy yourself, before using any of the techniques, software or services described, that the techniques are appropriate for your purposes and that the software or service is reliable.

There is some variation between the procedural requirements of different tribunals and courts for different types of case. The above explanation of procedural rules relating to bundles is only an overview and in order to be reasonably concise I have had to leave some details out - details which are likely to affect what the procedural law would say about your own situation. So please do not rely on the above but contact me for advice.

This page was lasted updated in February 2017. Disclaimer