Disclosure—standard disclosure and the reasonable search
Disclosure—standard disclosure and the reasonable search

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

  • Disclosure—standard disclosure and the reasonable search
  • What is standard disclosure?
  • The meaning of document
  • Relevance
  • What is a reasonable search?
  • Control
  • Practical tips for conducting a reasonable search under Rule 31.7

This Practice Note ought to be read in conjunction with Practice Note: Disclosure—practical tips on conducting a reasonable search (standard disclosure)

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.

What is standard disclosure?

An order for standard disclosure has a specific meaning under the CPR. To understand its scope, you need to understand:

  1. document: it is important to understand the definition and meaning of 'document' (including electronic document) in the context of disclosure, see below

  2. relevance: what documents are considered relevant for the purposes of standard disclosure. They are defined in CPR 31.6 as documents upon which you intend to rely or which adversely affect or support your case or your opponent's case, see below

  3. reasonableness: the extent of the search that needs to be undertaken. CPR 31.7 requires that this be reasonable and sets out the factors relevant to deciding the reasonableness of the search, see below

  4. control: whether any category of documents (including electronic documents) have been in your client's control. CPR 31.8 allows your client to exclude documents that have not been in its control, see below

The principles of