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 almost always willing to assist victims of fraud. As a result, judges are prepared to grant orders letting victims' lawyers search the businesses and residential premises of alleged fraudsters. All of which means a law firm that is expert in the ‘pressure cooker’ world of the Search Order is essential - for both claimants and defendants.

We have long-time experience of acting for both. We know that most Search Orders will concern financial fraud but they will 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 the purpose must be to preserve and protect as much documentary and computer-based evidence in advance of a trial.

The critical point to note is that 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. It is an indication of the gravity of such a measure; a reflection of the calibre and experience of the firms appointed to this role; and a role we have now 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 and 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 raids. We know how to deal with situations when women, children and vulnerable individuals are present at a search site and, where there are large quantities of computer-based electronic evidence, we turn to our in-house experts in MDR Cyber and our document review team MDR Discover.

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