Disclosure of documents in the Equity Division of the Supreme Court of NSW is a little different to the usual process whereby the Court will generally give orders about disclosing documents after the parties have formally set out their respective claims, allegations, and responses (the pleadings). In the Equity Division the process is governed by Practice Note SC EQ 11.
The focus of the practice note is the just, quick, and cheap resolution of the real issues in the proceedings. Therefore, unless there are exceptional circumstances it will not order disclosure until after the evidence has been served. Even then the parties will need to convince the Court that disclosure is necessary for the just, quick, and cheap resolution of the real issues by:
- Applying for disclosure; and,
- Explaining why it is necessary; the classes of documents sought; and the likely cost of the disclosure.
In relation to costs, the Court has the power to limit the amount of recoverable costs relating to disclosure.
Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation