Chris Dale Q&A for Recommind — e-discovery and the Jackson reforms

There is nobody with a better handle on the UK e-discovery market (where it is also known as e-disclosure) than Chris Dale. A solicitor and former litigation partner in London and later a litigation software developer and litigation support consultant, Dale now runs the authoritative e-disclosure Information Project blog and website. He is also a well-known speaker and commentator in the UK, the US and many other jurisdictions.

1. You helped develop the recently enacted Jackson reforms. What benefits of the Jackson reforms brought to UK litigation?
I was not directly involved in the wording of the Jackson rule changes but played a part in ensuring that Jackson knew about the subject. My role was first to introduce Lord Justice Jackson’s team to a range of judges, lawyers and e-disclosure providers and second to set up the demonstration of the disclosure tools that Jackson referred to in positive terms in his first report.

It is too early to estimate the actual benefits of enactments, on which there are diverging views. If we can focus on what Jackson intended rather than on the wasteful procedural sideshow that the Court of Appeal gave us in the Mitchell case, I am optimistic. The obligations to identify e-disclosure sources early, and to apply minds co-operatively and transparently to reducing the scope, to identifying the most appropriate methods and to estimating costs, will have a positive effect on the conduct of litigation…

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