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Proposals for a new disclosure regime in the B&PC

Proposals for a new disclosure regime in the Business and Property Courts
These were published on 2 November 2017 and are available on the Courts and Tribunals website - please click here. These proposals are the product of the work undertaken by the Disclosure Working Group (DWG), chaired by Lady Justice Gloster.  The unanimous view of the DWG is that “a wholesale cultural change is required and that this can only be achieved by the widespread promulgation of a completely new rule and guidelines on disclosure which will apply for the majority of cases proceeding in the Business and Property Courts”.  One of the key changes proposed is that what has been termed “standard disclosure” should disappear in its current form; its replacement should not be ordered in every case and will not be regarded as the default form of disclosure.

It is proposed that the new scheme will be piloted across the B&PCs in the Rolls Building and in the centres of Bristol, Cardiff, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle and Liverpool for a two year period. The proposed scheme is expected to be submitted to the Civil Procedure Rules Committee for review and approval in March/April 2018.  As soon as reasonably practicable thereafter, the Pilot will be published and commence.  In the meantime, further consultation and feedback on the proposals will be sought from the judiciary, professional associations and user groups in London and the circuits on an open forum basis.

Arrangements are being made for open events for court users to be held in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Leeds, London, Manchester, Newcastle and Liverpool. This will provide an opportunity for discussion and comments. If court users wish to make comments outside these events they are required where possible to pass their comments through one of the professional associations. The consultation period finishes on 28 February 2018.

The Chancery Bar Association submitted its views to the Disclosure Working Party in July 2017 (please click here), and these were considered by the DWG.  The Association will also respond to the present consultation.  If, once you have had an opportunity to consider the proposed changes, you have any views you wish us to raise, then please email Francesca at by 8 December 2017.  Thank you.