Getting documents: early specific disclosure

Getting documents: early specific disclosure

In Bullring Limited Partnership v Laing O’Rourke Midlands Limited [2016] EWHC 3092 (TCC), the Technology and Construction Court ordered specific disclosure (before the defence had been served) of several categories of documents. Simon Hargeaves QC of Keating Chambers, who acted for the defendant/applicant, considers the decision and the benefits of obtaining early specific disclosure during proceedings.

What are the practical implications of this case?

There are several ways to get documents from the other side:

  • contractual rights (eg injunction, agency and specific performance)
  • procedural rights (pre-action disclosure, disclosure in aid of another dispute resolution process, early (specific) disclosure, standard disclosure and third party disclosure)

In this case the court defined the test to be applied for early specific disclosure; ie applying for specific disclosure during proceedings but ahead of the usual time for disclosure.

Early specific disclosure is underused. It should be given some consideration as the jurisdiction and test are simple, lots of proceedings

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