As with so many events during the Covid-19 pandemic, it seems that online really is the future. On Monday 7th September, the Commercial Court presented its first virtual seminar as part of the celebration of the Court’s 125th anniversary, entitled: “Year 126 and onwards: planning for the future of London’s Commercial Court“. Chaired by Lord Justice Flaux, the Supervising Lord Justice for the Commercial Court, the event comprised panel sessions on virtual and hybrid hearings, the disclosure pilot and the future of witness statements.
I was personally very interested to delve into the disclosure pilot section specifically. I have to say I agree with positives noted, especially around early engagement and making people think about it up front. The duty to cooperate is interesting too, and although people are cooperating in general, they still need to represent their client’s best interests. This begs the question whether there could be some conflicts of interest here. Only time will tell on this.
However, I do feel that the front loading of costs could become an issue. The complications of certain models can lead to more work (up front) but will reduce the volume of documents that need to be reviewed.
It’s good to see these proposed amendments being discussed and certainly it’s important that the process continues to evolve for it to be successful.
If you want more on this take a look at this: https://amonsocial.alvarezandmarsal.com/post/102gbs2/uks-business-and-property-courts-disclosure-pilot-scheme-extended-for-a-furthe
A disclosure pilot scheme has been underway since the beginning of 2019 in the Business and Property Courts, including the Commercial Court. Governed by rules set out in CPR Practice Direction (PD) 51U, the pilot was originally intended to run for two years but it has been extended to the end of 2021 to give a greater opportunity to see how the pilot is working and whether it achieves its aims – including, crucially, to save costs.