A two-year pilot scheme launched on 1 January 2019 in the Business and Property Courts across England and Wales. 

A working group on disclosure was set up in 2016 to identify problems with the current system and propose practical solutions which, if successful, may be extended to other jurisdictions.

The pilot scheme aims to address concerns about the current excessive costs, scale and complexity of disclosure.

What’s changing?

Concerns with the current system are that:

  • standard disclosure often produces large amounts of irrelevant documents, wasting time and costs
  • because of a lack of judicial resources, standard disclosure has become the default option if parties do not agree.

The disclosure pilot introduces key changes, such as:

  • removing standard disclosure in its current form
  • the replacement (Model D) will not be regarded as the default form of disclosure
  • both parties and their lawyers have a duty to cooperate to promote the reliable, efficient and cost-effective conduct of disclosure
  • parties have a duty to disclose known adverse documents in all cases, whether or not an order to do so is made (this duty has been strengthened and is now wider than the obligation under Part 31)
  • parties should meet, discuss and complete a joint disclosure review document (DRD) after closure of statements of case, and before the case management conference
  • parties must give estimates of the likely costs of disclosure when filing the completed DRD.

Feedback

If you’ve taken part in the first year of the disclosure pilot and would like to give feedback, you can complete a questionnaire from Professor Rachael Mulheron, the pilot’s official monitor.

Submit your feedback by 15 November 2019.