11/24/2022 | News release | Distributed by Public on 11/24/2022 06:44
Published 24 November 2022
The Disclosure Pilot Scheme (Practice Direction 51U, "DPS") has been operating in the Business and Property Courts since January 2019 with the intention of managing the costs and complexities of the disclosure process while also bringing the principles of reasonableness and proportionality to the forefront of the process. The DPS provides parameters and stages within which disclosure should be conducted that some consider has generated a more involved process than the old regime, while others contend that these rules assist parties with managing voluminous electronic data which is becoming more prevalent in large-scale commercial disputes.
As of 1 October 2022, the DPS has become permanently incorporated within the Civil Procedure Rules pursuant to Practice Direction 57AD. The substantive changes which have been enacted include:
Sir Julian Flaux, Chancellor of the High Court, has endorsed the introduction of the DPS as it has allowed for greater transparency between the parties from the commencement of proceedings and reduced the number of contested disclosure applications. Specifically, the Chancellor noted that "this early thought and engagement by users has seen a dramatic decline in the number of post CMC applications for specific disclosure and a far more focused and efficient approach to the disclosure process".
The latest amendments do not address the specific framework required for dealing with disclosure in complex, multi-party litigation and rather, the current rules provide the court with discretion to depart from the case management timetable set out in the rules for such litigation. It is evident that there is still scope for the DPS to evolve and we will continue to monitor and report on any developments in this space.