Disclosure—preserving documents
Disclosure—preserving documents

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

  • Disclosure—preserving documents
  • Obligations
  • Consequences and considerations
  • Preserving electronic documents
  • Consequences of not preserving disclosable documents
  • Court specific guidance

This Practice Note provides guidance on the interpretation and application of the relevant provisions of the CPR. Depending on the court in which your matter is proceeding, you may also need to be mindful of additional provisions—see further below.

Note: this Practice Note does not cover the provisions of the disclosure pilot scheme in the Business and Property Courts under CPR PD 51U in force as of 1 January 2019—for further guidance, see Practice Note: Business and Property Courts—the disclosure pilot scheme.

Obligations

CPR PD 31B, para 7, which deals with the disclosure of electronic documents, expressly requires you to advise your client to preserve disclosable documents as soon as you have been instructed to deal with a dispute; where the claim has, or is likely to be, allocated to the multi-track. In any event, putting in place processes whereby potentially disclosable documents are preserved is sensible where you would wish to have available to you any documents, which might affect the outcome of the case, where your client is obliged to disclose any documents, which are or ‘have been’ under their control and where the court may take a dim view where documents are not disclosed because they were destroyed after litigation was contemplated. For further detail, see below.

Note: your client's obligation to preserve disclosable documents encompasses past, present and