An interesting write up by Simon Heatley from Charles Russell Speechlys on a recent decision in the High Court addressing whether the "mention" of a document in a witness statement is sufficient to them to demand its disclosure as part of the litigation process.

Ultimately the Court found in this instance that this was not necessary.  CPR 31.14 does allow for a party to request a disclosure of a document mentioned in a witness statement, statement of case, witness summary, affidavit or expert’s report.  However, in this case the main drivers behind the decision were that:

  1. A specific document(s) was not mentioned but rather what was mentioned was a process whereby documents, in their generic meaning, were referred to; and
  2. The request was not reasonable or proportionate as the requested documents were of no relevance to the issue before the court.

This is useful guidance for anyone undertaking disclosure as part of litigation.  What this and other cases continue to show is the fact that courts are taking disclosure requests seriously and pragmatically.  

On all cases having a thorough understanding of the systems and data used by the parties involved in the litigation is key to dealing with disclosure in an appropriate and timely manner.