TROUBLESOME BUNDLES YET AGAIN: MR JUSTICE EDER SPEAKS OUT ON WASTEFUL BUNDLES IN THE COMMERCIAL COURT
The question of bundles was raised by Mr Justice Eder in Taberna Europe -v- Selskabet  EWHC 871 (Comm). This is hardly a new complaint and appears across the board in all jurisdictions. (There are now 16 posts on this blog just about bundles [see below]. The post on bundles “Sedley’s Laws” remains the most popular post on this blog).
In giving judgment the judge commented on the state of the bundles:-
- In what has sadly become a matter of standard practice, there was a large number of bundles containing hard copies of documents – many of which were never referred to during the trial. In large-scale modern commercial litigation, I regard this as unacceptable. It is a waste of time, money and resources – both natural and human and, in my view, it is a practice which should be abandoned. I readily accept that it is often impossible to say with certainty that particular documents will or may not have to be referred to in the course of the trial. But, in my view, there is no reason in this modern electronic age why documents which might be described – at best – as “peripheral” and which are unlikely to be referred to need to be reproduced in hard copy on a “just-in-case” basis. In most cases, it seems that with good pre-trial case management by the parties’ representatives, it would normally be sufficient for such documents to be available, if necessary, in soft-copy format – although, if needed, hard copies could no doubt be produced relatively quickly. At this stage, I refrain from making any further comment other than to note that it was agreed that the contents of all these documents were admissible in evidence as to the truth of their contents. Even more sadly, there was no satisfactory Core Bundle. There were, in fact, two bundles that were said to constitute the Core Bundle as required by the Commercial Court Guide. First, there was a bundle (D1) containing Roskilde’s financial documents including various formal financial reports. This was arranged very helpfully. Second, there was another bundle (D2) containing various contemporary documents including emails and other correspondence and reports. Unfortunately, this was something of a jumble. It was (often) not in chronological order (as it should have been) and the pagination was unsatisfactory. This was not only confusing but caused real difficulty from time to time in the course of the trial and in understanding the proper sequence of events. Insofar as may be necessary, I will consider separately who bears responsibility for this state of affairs and what, if any, special order as to costs should be made.
- Trial bundles: Timing, Contents & Presentation: and do you know “Sedley’s Laws” ?
- Proportionality, bundles and £3 million spent on costs.
- When bundles & sanctions collide.
- More on Bundles: there is much time and money to be saved yet.
- Lengthy bundles and interim costs.
- Get bundles and skeletons to court or else.
- Relief from sanctions: Bundles: Expert evidence and litigants in person.
- Costs, proportionality and getting the bundles right.
- “Madness” over costs and useless trial bundles.
- More about trial bundles: Most of the stuff in them is useless (apparently).
- Bundles, appeals and the art of advocacy: Are poor bundles letting down your case?
- Useless Bundles; lengthy skeletons and judicial ire.
- A word about bundles: More views from the Bench.
- Trial Bundles: Another view from the Bench.
- The Importance of Trial Bundles again: Read Legal Orange.