The claimants had brought proceedings against their former sales manager for accepting bribes and secret commission from outsiders. In support of their claim the claimants had obtained a search and seizure order and a worldwide freezing injunction, apparently using their agents to impersonate the defendant in order to discover information about his Swiss bank accounts. This was in breach both of Swiss law and an offence under section 5(6) of the 1984 Act. The defendant applied to discharge the order and the freezing injunction and also applied for disclosure of reports and associated documents relating to the investigation of his affairs by the claimants’ agents. The claimants said the documents were privileged.
Held: A document obtained unlawfully or even criminally by investigators appointed by solicitors, was so tainted that it could not benefit from legal professional privilege and so was discoverable. There was a ‘strong prima facie case of criminal or fraudulent conduct’ by the claimants’ investigative agents: ‘But it seems to me that criminal or fraudulent conduct for the purpose of acquiring evidence in or for litigation cannot properly escape the consequence that any documents generated by or reporting on such conduct and which are relevant to the issues in the case are discoverable and fall outside the legitimate area of legal professional privilege . . . Ultimately, it seems to me that criminal or fraudulent conduct undertaken for the purpose of litigation falls on the same side of the line as advising on or setting up criminal or fraudulent transactions yet to be undertaken, as distinct from the entirely legitimate professional business of advising and assisting clients on their past conduct, however iniquitous’
Times 06-Jan-1999,  1 WLR 1964,  EWHC 1202 (Comm),  1 Lloyd’s Rep 478,  1 All ER 703,  1 All ER (Comm) 1
Data Protection Act 1984 5(6)
England and Wales
Confirmed – Kuruma v The Queen PC 8-Dec-1954
(Court of Appeal for Eastern Africa) The defendant appealed against his conviction for unlawful possession of ammunition, saying that the evidence had been obtained by unlawful means, and should not have been admitted against him.
Held: Lord . .
 AC 197,  UKPC 43,  2 WLR 223,  Crim LR 339, (1955) 119 JP 157,  Crim LR 69,  1 All ER 236
See Also – Dubai Aluminium Company Ltd v Salaam and Others QBD 17-Jul-1998
A partner is vicariously liable for the acts of his partner in equity as well as in tort. Where a partner acted as accessory to a breach of trust he acted as a constructive trustee. A settlement of and action on this basis was enforceable in a later . .
Times 04-Sep-98,  EWHC 1204 (Comm),  1 Lloyd’s Rep 415
Approved – Kuwait Airways Corporation v Iraqi Airways Company (No 6) CA 16-Mar-2005
The defendant company appealed against an order allowing inspection of documents for which litigation privilege had been claimed. It was said that the defendants had been involved in perjury in previous proceedings between the parties.
Held: . .
 EWCA Civ 286, Times 25-Apr-05,  1 WLR 2734
Cited – Hughes v Carratu International Plc QBD 19-Jul-2006
The claimant wished to bring an action against the defendant enquiry agent, saying that it had obtained unlawful access to details of his bank accounts, and now sought disclosure of documents. The defendant denied wrongdoing, and said it had . .
 EWHC 1791 (QB)
Approved – Memory Corporation v Sidhu (No 2) CA 3-Dec-1999
Where a party applied to court for an ex parte order, counsel had direct duties to the court, and also the supporting legal team and clients had continuing and overlapping duties. There was little to be gained by trying to analyze these things too . .
Times 15-Feb-00, Gazette 27-Jan-00, Times 03-Dec-99,  EWCA Civ 9,  1 WLR 1443
Applied – Tchenguiz and Others v Imerman CA 29-Jul-2010
Anticipating a refusal by H to disclose assets in ancillary relief proceedings, W’s brothers wrongfully accessed H’s computers to gather information. The court was asked whether the rule in Hildebrand remained correct. W appealed against an order . .
 EWCA Civ 908,  WLR (D) 217,  2 FLR 814
See Also – Dubai Aluminium Company Limited v Salaam and others CA 7-Apr-2000
The liability of a firm for the wrongful acts of one partner is not limited to tortious acts creating liability in common law, but includes all wrongful acts or omissions, including a knowing assistance in a fraudulent scheme. A solicitor who . .
Times 21-Apr-00,  3 WLR 910,  EWCA Civ 118,  2 Lloyd’s Rep 168,  QB 113,  PNLR 578,  Lloyd’s Rep PN 497
See Also – Dubai Aluminium Company Limited v Salaam and Others HL 5-Dec-2002
Partners Liable for Dishonest Act of Solicitor
A solicitor had been alleged to have acted dishonestly, having assisted in a fraudulent breach of trust by drafting certain documents. Contributions to the damages were sought from his partners.
Held: The acts complained of were so close to . .
Times 06-Dec-02,  1 Lloyd’s Rep 65,  UKHL 48,  3 WLR 1913,  2 AC 366,  1 All ER 97,  2 All ER (Comm) 451,  1 LLR 65,  1 BCLC 32,  IRLR 608,  1 CLC 1020,  WTLR 163
These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 17 December 2020; Ref: scu.80147