Disclosure by a non-party—Rule 31.17
Disclosure by a non-party—Rule 31.17

The following Dispute Resolution practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Disclosure by a non-party—Rule 31.17
  • How to obtain documents from third parties
  • How to apply for a non-party disclosure order
  • Relevant provisions
  • What to file
  • Evidence in support of a third party disclosure application
  • Non-party's response to an application for non-party disclosure
  • Courts' approach to non-party disclosure applications
  • 'Likely to support'—CPR 31.17(3)(a)
  • Are the documents necessary to 'dispose fairly of the claim'? CPR 31.17(3)(b)
  • More...

Disclosure by a non-party—Rule 31.17

Important note: The Retained Regulation (EU) 2016/679 (UK GDPR) regime described in this Practice Note is the regime which is expected to apply once the implementation period (during which the UK remains subject to the EEA data protection regime) has ended. The UK GDPR regime is not applicable nor in force until 11 pm (UK time) on 31 December 2020. This Practice Note will be updated as matters progress. For further background, see Practice Note: Brexit—implications for data protection.

This Practice Note looks at third party disclosure under CPR 31.17 and CPR 31.18 ie obtaining disclosure of documents from a non-party to the proceedings.

Note: you should also consider if the proceedings are subject to the disclosure pilot in the Business and Property Courts. For further guidance, see Practice Note: Business and Property Courts—the disclosure pilot scheme.

How to obtain documents from third parties

There may be instances when you know or suspect that a person or entity that is not a party to proceedings (a 'non-party' or 'third party') has documents in its possession that may be relevant to your client's case.

There are a number of ways in which you can seek to obtain any such documents. The procedure largely depends upon whether proceedings have started or not:

  1. pre-action: CPR 31.18 carves out the court's power to order pre-action disclosure against a

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