This is a good in-depth review from the team at Stewarts Law about the Disclosure Pilot Scheme and what’s happening with the next iteration given the extension.

A number of key things stood out to me here when reading this, which I have listed below:

  1. The DPS is taking quite some time to bed in and an overall culture change should be prioritised;
  2. There needs to be further instruction around Model C;
  3. More changes have been required to make the process more efficient and cost effective. For instance, in the disclosure guidance section, one party can now ask the court for guidance instead of both sides having to agree for guidance. This can save money not having to attend the hearing. Plus, we’re seeing that those less complex claims aren’t having to go through the same DRD process dependent on model or a simplified version of model.
  4. In the models section, the team at Stewarts explain “this was either to limit the other side complaining that the disclosure sought was too broad and to reduce disagreement about the models used for tactical reasons.” This was certainly something we saw as a topic of interest in our DPS survey results too, which you can read here.
  5. In the piece Stewarts Law explains, “using the Pilot as a framework and adopting a disclosure process that works for your matter should be encouraged.” Clearly, changes have to be built in to ensure a little more flexibility.
  6. Multi party claims guidance – or generally adopting this attitude as Stewarts say “Using the Pilot as a framework and adopting a disclosure process that works for your matter should be encouraged.“ Changes have built in a little more flexibility which should leave to efficiencies.

In our recent DPS paper, Natalie Osafo from Stewarts Law actually commented on our survey findings explaining, “how parties and their legal advisers approach the Pilot could elevate disclosure in the U.K.’s commercial courts to the next level. A new attitude to disclosure is needed which reconciles the inevitably adversarial nature of litigation with disclosing documentary evidence only when it is necessary for the courts to decide an important issue in the case.” 

Let’s hope this is what we’ve all been waiting for.