Disclosure Pilot Scheme has retrospective effect even where a disclosure order has already been made

In UTB LLC v Sheffield United Limited and others [2019] EWHC 914 (Ch), Sir Geoffrey Vos, Chancellor of the High Court, considered the effect of the Disclosure Pilot on transitional cases (those where disclosure was originally ordered pursuant to the disclosure regime set out in CPR 31 but the case is within the scope of the Disclosure Pilot which came into force on 1 January 2019).

In this particular case the parties had assumed that CPR 31 applied as a disclosure order pursuant to that part had already been made, however, Sir Geoffrey Vos stated that it was mistaken to think that the Disclosure Pilot does not apply to proceedings in which a disclosure order had been made before 1 January 2019 and pointed out that the Disclosure Pilot deliberately did not include any transitional provisions so that it would apply to all proceedings (save for those expressly excluded by the Disclosure Pilot).

Accordingly, the Disclosure Pilot applies to all relevant Business and Property Court proceedings started before or after 1 January 2019 even where a disclosure order has already been made prior to 1 January 2019 pursuant to CPR 31, and practitioners and parties need to be aware of this and consider the impact of the Disclosure Pilot on any live proceedings that they may have.

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