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End in sight for the usual mountain of disclosure in Civil Litigation cases?

Posted on 22 August 2018 by Ella Carroll

End in sight for the usual mountain of disclosure in Civil Litigation cases?

New rules approved last week could see the end to the large amount of disclosure currently required in Civil Litigation cases.

Currently, in most cases, parties are expected to give “standard disclosure” which means each party is required to disclose to the other the existence of the documents on which he relies or which adversely affect his own case, adversely affect another party's case or support another party's case. In other words, anything broadly relevant to the dispute. The new 2 year pilot scheme will commence in the Business & Property courts from 1 January 2019 which seek to replace Standard Disclosure with either “basic” or “extended” disclosure.

Basic disclosure will involve disclosing the key documents needed for the other side to understand a party’s case. Extended disclosure will involve one of five categories including having to disclose “known adverse documents” or having to undertake wide searches to find documents which are broadly relevant.

Under the new rules, basic disclosure will be the norm and extended disclosure will only be granted on an issue by issue basis ie. the parties will have to persuade the Court to order extended disclosure and the Courts have been instructed to be robust in their approach when deciding whether to depart from basic disclosure.

The new rules may help cut the costs of pursuing litigation as disclosure is usually one of the most expensive phases, however, could it result in documents helpful to a party’s case being kept in the dark. Only time will tell.

If you need any advice regarding a dispute you are having, telephone one of our advisers on 01935 385984 today.

Posted in: Dispute Resolution, Property Disputes, Commercial Dispute Resolution