A High Court judge has ordered a manual search of tens of thousands of documents in a $65m breach of warranty case because of concerns over the claimants’ approach to computer-assisted review. Mr Justice Coulson said disclosure had been “something of a running sore in this case”.
A “wholesale cultural change” in the approach to disclosure in the Business and Property Courts is needed, a judiciary-led working group has said, which will be brought about by a completely new rule and guidelines applying to the majority of cases. These will be tested in a two-year pilot to run in major courts across the country.
The High Court has granted an injunction against a party that was well aware that a document it was using was a privileged letter accidentally disclosed by the other side. The claimant was advised by a non-solicitor insolvency specialist, but the court said the test was whether it was obvious to a reasonable solicitor that a mistake had been made.
Litigation lawyers in London are fairly evenly split on whether Brexit will lead to a “significant flight of work” to other jurisdictions, a survey has found. The survey underlined the strength of opposition from commercial lawyers to fixed costs. Lord Justice Jackson is to publish his report on the issue this morning.
Jackson urges solicitors to sort out accidental disclosure of privileged material between themselves
Litigators should sort out the inadvertent disclosure of privileged documents in a grown-up manner without taking up the time of the court, the Court of Appeal has ruled as it granted an order to delete a privileged email that had been accidentally handed over.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has had its defence to a multi-million pound personal injury claim struck out by the High Court for failing to comply with an unless order over its disclosure obligations. The judge said that “unless orders should mean what they say”.
A High Court master has rejected an application from a Leicestershire solicitor for trial of a preliminary issue in a costs claim involving another law firm, citing the “high degree of personal animosity between the parties”. The claim for unpaid agency fees had already resulted in two appeals at the SCCO.
Practitioners need to think twice before agreeing standard disclosure and judges to be more proactive to steer them away from it, Lord Justice Jackson said last week. He urged lawyers to look beyond the profitability that may come from standard disclosure.