In Tullett Prebon Group Ltd and anor v Davis and anor [2007] EWHC Civ 2737 (QB), HHJ the Queen’s Bench court had to consider the Defendants' application for specific disclosure. In ordering the disclosure of some but not all of the documents requested, the court’s judgment provides a useful reminder and summary of the general principles to be applied when considering an application for specific disclosure where the documents requested are alleged to be confidential, as follows:

  • the court must decide whether the documents are relevant pursuant to CPR 31.6(b). If the documents are relevant, confidentiality alone will not justify refusing to produce them (see Science Research Council v Nasse [1980] AC 1028). 
  • The judge must then carry out a balancing act between the degree of relevance of the document in question and the nature and extent of its confidentiality.
  • "If a document is both relevant and confidential, disclosure should be ordered if its disclosure is in accordance with the overriding objective and, in particular, if disclosure is proportionate and necessary to ensure that the case is dealt with fairly."