This is a good round up of news from the courts of England and Wales from December of last year from Simon Airey, Jack Thorne, Alison Morris, Jonathan Robb & Gesa Bukowski at Paul Hastings.

Of particular interest to me was the write up of the The Commissioners for Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs v IGE USA Investments Limited and Others [2020] EWHC 1716 (Ch) case. This case was looking at the extent of the Court’s jurisdiction to order “disclosure of specific documents” pursuant to paragraph 18 of Practice Direction 51U.

I will not reiterate the details of the case - they are all set out in this article and there is also a link to the actual judgement too - but it’s interesting to see how the case dealt with the above issue. In fact, it looked at at it from a number of perspectives:

  • The distinction between "List of Issues for Disclosure" and "Issues for Disclosure";
  • The importance of the documents being sought;
  • The size of the claim;
  • The fact that HMRC had already collated the Documents.

In the end, the appeal court found that it was reasonable and proportion to grant the Request for Documents Application. I think it is important for everyone to keep this in mind when looking at disclosure, especially when fact patterns change during a dispute.

I also agree with the author’s comment: “…this useful judgment, provides helpful clarification of the Court’s jurisdiction under paragraph 18 of PD 51U…[and] helpfully clarifies the distinction between "List of Issues for Disclosure" and "Issues for Disclosure"; namely that the former is only concerned with issues that are identifiable on the face of the pleadings, and the latter encompassing all issues in dispute between the parties that need to be resolved for a fair resolution of the proceedings.”

Very interesting reading. Take a look.