Supervising Solicitors (Dispute Resolution)

Supervising Solicitors

The UK left the EU on 31 January 2020. A transition period, during which EU laws continue to apply in the UK, is due to end on 31 December 2020. The UK/EU Withdrawal Agreement sets out transitional arrangements and negotiations for the future UK/EU relationship are ongoing.

English courts are able to make a variety of orders to assist victims of fraud. Judges can (in certain circumstances) grant orders letting claimants' lawyers search the businesses and residential premises of alleged fraudsters. Given the draconian nature of a Search Order, a law firm that is expert in the ‘pressure cooker’ world of these kinds of interim remedies is essential for both claimants and defendants.

We have substantial experience of acting for both. Most Search Orders will concern financial fraud but they can also be granted when it comes to information theft in intellectual property-related claims, breach of confidence disputes and even in divorce proceedings. In each case, the purpose is to preserve and protect evidence in advance of a trial.

Before a defendant's home or work premises can be searched, the Court requires the appointment of an independent Supervising Solicitor to oversee the search and report to the Court on the execution of the Order. This is an indication of the severe nature of a Search Order, and a role solicitors at Mishcon have filled for many years, meeting the needs of all concerned (the parties, the process and the Court).

This supervisory role is just one aspect of our long-standing practice, acting for both claimants and defendants and regularly executing or responding to Search Orders. In such a sensitive area we are adept at anticipating the issues likely to arise when executing an Order. We are comfortable orchestrating high-stakes, multi-site searches, and with dealing with situations involving children and vulnerable individuals. Where there are large quantities of computer-based electronic evidence, we are able to utilise our in-house experts in MDR Cyber and our document review team MDR Discover.

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