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HH Judge David Waksman joined Ed Crosse of Simmons & Simmons, President of the London Solicitors Litigation Association, Tim Brown of RPC, and Caroline Field of Fox and Partners, for a robust discussion of proposed rule changes for England and Wales, with Vince Neicho of Integreon as the moderator. The forum was organized by James MacGregor and the ACEDS UK Chapter, hosted by Clyde and Co, and sponsored by Inventus.
Chris Dale’s eDisclosure Information Project blog has long chronicled the aspirations and practice of international eDiscovery and eDisclosure. Chris Dale was an active participant in the rule changes as a member of Senior Master Whitaker’s working party which drafted PD31B and the Electronic Documents Questionnaire, the subject of the proposed changes.
Front loading of costs, particularly for smaller cases, education, competence and adoption were discussed, with a mandate to disclose adverse documents and to not obscure relevant documents with a data dump.
Chris Dale reports the current state of the process:
With senior judges and the GC100 behind the idea of comprehensive change, and with a wide range of views considered, the working group set about drafting a new rule. Consultation closes at the end of February, and a pilot will be launched as soon as possible thereafter, perhaps by October 2018, for a two-year period in the Business and Property Courts in the Rolls Building in London and in Bristol, Cardiff, Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds.
Are the rule changes necessary? After considering the panel discussion, Chris Dale’s opinion is that the rules need attention. “Before the evening’s session, I would have said that we should leave well alone, educate some judges and tighten up the sanctions for defective disclosure. After it, I think I am persuaded that the present piecemeal rules and PDs should be replaced.”
ACEDS is grateful for the UK Chapter stewarding this important discussion, and for Chris Dale sharing his thoughtful critique and suggestions. Thank you to James MacGregor of Inventus and the UK Chapter for organizing, the hosts Clyde & Co, and Inventus for providing refreshments.