Reed Smith In-depth

Key takeaways

  • Disclosure is a crucial part of any dispute. The success or failure of a claim can turn on what documents are searched for and disclosed.
  • In this alert we set out some best practices and practical guidance to make the disclosure process as pain-free and cost efficient as possible. We hope this will be useful for in-house lawyers.
  • We focus particularly on disclosure in cases before the Commercial Court. But many of the principles apply with equal force in the context of international arbitrations. 


1. This alert is intended to be useful for any in-house lawyer preparing to bring or defend a claim, particularly one before the Commercial Court.

2. It has been just over a year since new rules on disclosure became a permanent fixture in the English High Court. In October 2022, what was known as the Disclosure Pilot Scheme became a permanent fixture in new Practice Direction 57AD in the Business and Property Courts, including the Commercial Court.

3. We have built up extensive experience in working with our clients to manage the disclosure process throughout the lifecycle of litigation, in light of the court’s new disclosure rules. We have drawn on that experience to put together the suggestions set out in this document.

4. For more information on the detail of the court’s disclosure rules, please see our updated Disclosure Toolkit, via the PDF.

5. For practical hints and tips, please see our commentary in this alert, which considers the full lifecycle of disclosure.