Q&As

My client and/or the instructing solicitor have had to shut their offices part-way through the disclosure exercise as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19). What should we do?

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Produced in partnership with Chris Bryden of 4 King’s Bench Walk
Published on LexisPSL on 25/03/2020

The following Dispute Resolution Q&A produced in partnership with Chris Bryden of 4 King’s Bench Walk provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • My client and/or the instructing solicitor have had to shut their offices part-way through the disclosure exercise as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19). What should we do?
  • Varying disclosure order
  • General case management

My client and/or the instructing solicitor have had to shut their offices part-way through the disclosure exercise as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19). What should we do?

Where an electronic document review platform is, or can be, used to prepare a party’s disclosure, the closure of their instructing solicitor’s offices part way through the disclosure exercise should not significantly disrupt it. Electronic platforms can be accessed by reviewing staff remotely, and any hard copy documents can be scanned into electronic format.

However, the requirement for offices to shut down may mean that disclosure exercises conducted solely on the basis of scrutinising paper documents, which cannot be carried out using a document review platform, will therefore be in jeopardy.

Varying disclosure order

In many cases involving disclosure, the urgency to complete the exercise will not be pressing and timetables can be varied or extended. Early contact with opposing parties is important in order to agree extensions of time, stays and, if necessary, consent orders to be approved by the court extending time for taking mandated steps.

Where the disclosure order needs to be varied, the time

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