We Put the Pieces Together
This month marked the implementation of the Jackson Reforms. To help combat confusion within the legal community as to how the new civil procedure rules arising out of these reforms will work, we gathered up some of London's leading litigation experts and thrashed out the key issues on cost management and disclosure in a breakfast seminar at Lincoln's Inn.
The breakfast was extremely well attended, showing the legal community's interest in the subject and in the esteemed panel which consisted of the court's own Senior Master Steven Whitaker, Pinsent Masons' litigation expert Andrew Herring, Hudson Legal's director of managed review, Tom Moore, and Kroll Ontrack legal technology expert Rob Jones.
The Senior Master made it clear from the start that non-compliance with the rules would not be tolerated by the courts and sanctions could be expected. In this context we debated how the rules might work.
The panel agreed that standard disclosure would be less frequent, with parties more likely to simply disclose the documents they rely upon, and potentially provide further issue-based disclosure. Even though disclosure on this basis could be rather limited, the panellists didn't think this means the end of the E-Disclosure industry. Rather, as Rob put it, a coming of age, where Legal Technology providers would be able to provide proper, strategic advice to practitioners carefully planning their disclosure exercises ahead of time.
ED providers would also be able to help with cost budgeting, which is now a requirement under the rules. Although the requirement to file a budget only applies to some cases, the need to budget for the disclosure exercise on the Disclosure Report (the form for which we unveiled at the seminar) would apply to most.
Listening to Andrew speak, it made me realise that these changes would clearly have an impact on litigators, but that actually many of the required behaviours are what good solicitors are already doing under the current regime.
You can listen to a recording of the whole seminar here:
I would like to personally thank the panellists, who helped me structure the session to focus on the aspects that mattered most to practitioners, and provided a lively discussion on the day.