May 6th, 2020 by James Goudie KC

It is fundamental to disclosure obligations in litigation that it must not be the client who makes the selection of which documents are relevant and disclosable. That is the responsibility of the solicitor.

The best way for both the client and the solicitor to fulfil a duty of disclosure is for the solicitor to take possession of all the original documents and to do so as early as possible. The client should not be permitted to decide relevance, or even potential relevance.

All the files should go to the solicitor. Alternatively, the solicitor should visit the client, to review the files, and take the relevant documents into his possession.

The foregoing is reiterated in Square Global Ltd v Leonard (2020) EWHC 1008. It applies to in-house solicitors, including local authority solicitors, and their client departments and officers, and to all types of disclosable material, hard copy or otherwise.

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