Sir Geoffrey Vos, Chancellor of the High Court, took the opportunity to provide helpful guidance on CPR PD 51U—which governs the disclosure pilot in the Business and Property Courts. In particular, he emphasised that issues for disclosure are very different to issues for trial, and issues for disclosure do not extend to every issue which is disputed in the statement of case by denial or non-admission. In many cases, the issues of disclosure need not be numerous, and they will almost never include legal issues or factual issues which are already capable of being resolved based upon documents available from initial disclosure. Parties ought to pay close attention to the various models of disclosure provided within the pilot scheme, and it may be appropriate for parties to each rely upon different models in respect of the same issue, but this must be assessed on a case by case basis. The importance of cooperation was also addressed, and it was made clear that parties must not seek to use the process to gain any litigation advantage; such conduct will be met with immediately payable adverse costs.
This article was first published by Lexis®PSL on 18/02/2020
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