Working group on disclosure reforms happy that pre-action disclosure is working

The working group has proposed a new approach to disclosure, encouraging parties to address what is seen as an overly expensive stage of litigation.

The Working group has proposed a new approach to disclosure, encouraging parties to address what is seen as an overly expensive stage of litigation. 

A cross country pilot is planned to assess the group's suggested way forward, which includes doing away with standard disclosure and replacing it with different degrees of disclosure: Models A to E along with room for bespoke disclosure. The applicable model to be used is likely to be a cause for dispute between parties.  

The distinction between disclosure and inspection is set to be dispensed with also. 

The plan now is for consultations in the cities taking part in the pilot before CPR 31 and the Practice Direction are rewritten. 

The Working group’s report expressly states that Pre-action disclosure provisions will not be affected. However, CPR 31.16 (3)(c) will need to modified to a minor extent given the reference to standard disclosure. 

It is pleasing that one of the better drafted provisions of the CPR and one that is increasingly used by defendants will remain. The fact that it has proportionality at its heart, despite predating the reform of the overriding objective, has ensured its survival. 

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