The Civil Procedure Rule Committee has given approval in principle to the proposed new disclosure rule for England and Wales. A LinkedIn post by Ed Crosse of Simmons & Simmons reports that the CPRC gave its approval on 15 June and that final approval will be sought at the next CPRC meeting on 13 July when the practice direction and disclosure review document have been checked.
I wrote about the proposed new rule following a presentation sponsored by ACEDS in February. I also interviewed Ed Crosse following a panel I did with him at Relativity Fest. I hope to do more of these as the rule roll-out develops.
The original proposals were published in November 2017 and have, Ed Crosse says, been “significantly approved as a result of the feedback received during the three-month consultation”. There were apparently 250 pages of written responses and 26 roadshow meetings and discussions. The pilot has been pushed back to 1 January 2019 in the Business and Property Courts in London and regional centres. It will last for two years and will be monitored during that time.
Litigation Futures carried an article about the pilot here with a summary of the concerns being addressed, and an article called How the disclosure pilot could curb costs by Caroline Field of Fox and partners.
Those practising in other courts may feel that they can relax for a couple of years. I don’t recommend it. Over that time, judges will be receiving training about the new rule and will doubtless want to try out their new learning. However significant the changes, the principles of cooperation between parties and judicial management exist already, which may come as a surprise to some judges as well as lawyers.
And yes, if you are wondering at the opening words above, the CPRC is the Civil Procedure Rule Committee, not “Rules”. Its web site is here.