Proposed pilot scheme on disclosure in the new BPCs in Leeds

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT FOR LITIGATORS USING THE BUSINESS AND PROPERTY COURTS IN LEEDS

Event: 23 January 2018 – see details below

Background

At the request of the Disclosure Working Group (DWG), an event is being arranged in Leeds to update you on some significant proposals to reform of the current rules on disclosure for cases proceeding in the Business and Property Courts, including Leeds.

You may be aware that Sir Terence Etherton, the former Chancellor and current Master of the Rolls established the DWG in response to widespread concerns by court users and the profession regarding the perceived excessive costs, scale and complexity of disclosure.  The DWG, which was chaired by Lady Justice Gloster, met on a number of occasions over an 18 month period, and delegated to a small subcommittee the task of drafting the recommended proposals. During their review, the DWG consulted with a range of interested parties across England and Wales and received extensive feedback, much of which is now reflected in the proposed pilot.

There is to be a four month feedback period between now and 28.02.18, following which the proposed pilot scheme will be submitted to the Civil Procedure Rules Committee for approval.  In the event that it is approved, there will then be a two year mandatory pilot in the Business and Property Courts in London and in the regions.  The Practice Direction would then be introduced by way of a rule change to the existing CPR Part 31.

The proposals of the DWG take the form of a new draft PD to replace the CPR Part 31 and were published on the Judiciary website on 02.11.17.  The key documents are available at:

https://www.judiciary.gov.uk/announcements/disclosure-proposed-pilot-scheme-for-the-business-and-property-courts/

The Event in Leeds

As feedback on the proposals is sought by 28.02.18, and to ensure that you have more information to help you contribute to the debate, a meeting has been arranged in Leeds for practitioners using the Business and Property Courts in Leeds.

The event in Leeds will start with the proposed pilot being introduced by Mr Justice Knowles and Chief Master Marsh, with the judges explaining the thinking that lies behind the proposals.

Please note that the judges will not be going through the drafting in detail, so it would be useful if attendees could (prior to the meeting) read the documents at:

https://www.judiciary.gov.uk/announcements/disclosure-proposed-pilot-scheme-for-the-business-and-property-courts/

There will be an opportunity to ask questions and to comment on the proposals at the event, but it would assist if you could send your questions to sue.harris@walkermorris.co.uk by 15.01.18 if at all possible.

The Date: 23.01.18

The Time: 5.30pm – 6.30pm (approximately with the Q&A) followed by drinks and canapés kindly sponsored by Kings Chambers.

The Venue: Leeds Law Society – 62 Wellington Street (although the venue may change to another city centre location on the basis that a larger venue is required – anyone who has registered will be notified of any change).

How to book: Please click on the link here. This event is open to all members of Leeds Law Society, the Bar and any practitioners who use the Business and Property Courts in Leeds. However, we do need you to book so that we can make sure that we can arrange an appropriate venue. We are expecting a lot of interest so please book early to avoid disappointment.

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