Do I have to remove court bundles after hearings?

I act for a claimant in civil proceedings. To comply with the UK General Data Protection Regulation, is it my responsibility to remove all court bundles after hearings?

You need to differentiate between:

  • court bundles prepared for use by the client’s legal representatives, and
  • court bundles filed at court for use by the judge and by witnesses

We have agreed with HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) and the Bar Council that only those bundles belonging to barristers and solicitors should be removed by them.

Barristers and solicitors should not remove bundles which have been filed with the court, as they are not data processors on behalf of HMCTS.

In April 2019, HMCTS issued a joint statement in conjunction with the Law Society and the Bar Council which, inter alia, states:

“It has been agreed that the parties’ copies of court bundles and papers, and papers and copies of documents provided for the use of witnesses, i.e. not those that have previously been filed with or supplied for the exclusive use of the court, are the sole responsibility of those parties’ representatives as data controllers.

As data controllers you are required to make the necessary arrangements to remove them immediately following the end of your court hearing.”

Read the full joint notice


While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information in this article, it does not constitute legal advice and cannot be relied upon as such. The Law Society does not accept any responsibility for liabilities arising as a result of reliance upon the information given.

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