Amendments to the Disclosure Pilot Scheme are expected to come into force on 1 November 2021
The Civil Procedure Rule Committee notes of their meetings in July and September 2021 have been published and include details of some drafting revisions made to the disclosure pilot scheme rules.
Amendments have already been included in the 133rd Practice Direction update, which extended the pilot for a further 12 months to 31 December 2022 and modified the pilot to clarify “that in a case where no order for Extended Disclosure is made in respect of a party on any Issue for Disclosure, that party must still disclose all known adverse documents within 60 days of the first case management conference and provide a Disclosure Certificate certifying that this has been done”.
However, further amendments have been discussed in the July and September meetings and the package of amendments to PD51U are expected to be in-force from 1 November 2021.
The principal changes concern new provisions for a separate regime within the pilot for “Less Complex Claims”. This provision will not be limited to only new cases, it will apply to any less complex cases issued before the changes come into effect, as well as new claims. This mirrors the implementation of the initial disclosure pilot scheme.
A new Disclosure Review Document (DRD) is proposed for Less Complex Claims, however it may not have to be completed for claims where no searched based orders are being sought, but you may do so if that will assist. Issues for Disclosure in Less Complex Claims should be limited to five. Sub-issues should not be used if that will materially increase the length and complexity of the List of Issues for Disclosure. Parties MUST seek to agree the draft List of Disclosure Issues.
Further proposed changes comprise of amendments to the Disclosure Review Document and explanatory notes, the Disclosure Certificate and a proposed new Appendix for “Less Complex Claims”.
These package of amendments to PD51U were “agreed in principle” at the July meeting and agreed in the September meeting for onward inclusion into the next available PD update. This is expected to be on 1 November 2021.
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Published 12 October 2021
Author – Sue Fox
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