Pre-action disclosure—the application

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

  • Pre-action disclosure—the application
  • Pre-action disclosure—general
  • Exceptional orders
  • What you need to file
  • Evidence required by the applicant
  • Response by the respondent—opposing the application
  • Costs of pre-action disclosure

Pre-action disclosure—the application

This Practice Note provides guidance on CPR 31.16 pre-action disclosure applications, where the applicant and respondent are likely to be parties to subsequent proceedings. It provides guidance on how to make such an application for disclosure before proceedings have started including what to file under the CPR 23 application in this context: the Form N244 (N244 CC for the Commercial Court) and the evidence required in the applicant’s witness evidence in support of the pre-action application. The response by the respondent when opposing the application is also discussed. Finally the costs consequences of an application for pre-action disclosure are considered.

For detailed guidance on when it might be appropriate to make an application for pre-action disclosure, the approach the courts take when deciding whether to grant such applications and specific discussion of pre-action disclosure in different circumstances, see Practice Note: Pre-action disclosure—requirements and the courts' approach.

You should also consider if the proceedings will be 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.

Pre-action disclosure—general

An application for disclosure before proceedings have started is permitted under section 33 of the Senior Courts Act 1981 (powers of high court exercisable before commencement of action) or section 52 of the County Courts Act 1984 (powers of county court exercisable before commencement

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