Faisaltex Ltd and others, Regina (on the Application of) v Crown Court Sitting at Preston and others etc: Admn 21 Nov 2008

Nine claimants sought leave to bring judicial review of the issue of search warrants against solicitors’ and business and other premises, complaining of the seizure of excluded material and of special procedure material. There were suspicions of the import of counterfeit clothing and of money laundering.
Held: The burden of showing that the judge acted ultra vires in issuing a warrant or that the police acted unlawfully when executing a warrant rests upon the claimant. There had been a delay, arising from attempts to reach agreement with HMRC, but that was not related to the lawfulness of the warrants themselves. The claim was not filed promptly as required.
However, it was not clear why the fact that the firm of solicitors had acted on five appeals by the claimants and not a lesser number had any significance as to the use of search warrants rather than a production order for the firm of solicitors. There had been no rational basis for the warrant to search the solicitors’ offices.
An accountant however would normally have a much closer connection with the business under suspicion.
Once the judge was satisfied on the issue of legally privileged material, there was no reason why the section 8 warrants should not specify computers and similar items amongst the material to be seized if there were reasonable grounds for believing that they contained relevant evidence, albeit that they might also contain irrelevant material.
A computer and its hard disk were capable of being ‘material’ within section 8(1), Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984.

Keene LJ, Griffith Williams J
[2008] EWHC 2832 (Admin), Times 05-Dec-2008, [2009] 1 Cr App R 37, [2009] Lloyds Rep FC 160, [2009] Crim LR 358, [2009] 1 WLR 168
Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 9
England and Wales
CitedRegina v Maidstone Crown Court ex parte Waitt QBD 1988
The solicitor applicant challenged the grant of a search order under section 9.
Held: The order was quashed. The court underlined the need for judges to be scrupulous in discharging their responsibilities so as to ensure that use of the . .
CitedRegina v Guildhall Magistrates’ Court, ex parte Primlaks Holdings Co. (Panama) Inc 1990
The exercise of a power of search is a draconian power. . .
CitedRegina v Lewes Crown Court ex parte Hill 1991
Bingham LJ said: ‘The Police and Criminal Evidence Act governs a field in which there are two very obvious public interests. There is, first of all, a public interest in the effective investigation and prosecution of crime. Secondly, there is a . .
CitedRedknapp and Another v Commissioner of the City of London Police and Another Admn 23-May-2008
The claimant challenged the legality of a search warrant and the method of its execution on his home. He complained that the police had ensured publicity for the execution of the warrant.
Held: The obtaining of a search warrant is never to be . .
CitedRegina v Central Criminal Court Ex Parte Bright; Regina v Same, Ex Parte Rusbridger QBD 21-Jul-2000
An order was made for a journalist to disclose to the police material disclosed to him in connection with a prosecution under the Official Secrets Act. The journalist appealed the order, on the basis that it was in effect an order that he . .
CitedFinn-Kelcey v Milton Keynes Council and MK Windfarm Ltd CA 10-Oct-2008
Judicial Review must be timely
The appellant challenged the grant of permission for a wind farm on neighbouring land. His application for judicial review had been rejected for delay and on the merits.
Held: The court repeated the requirement that an application must be both . .
CitedRegina v Cotswold District Council and others ex parte Barrington Parish Council Admn 24-Apr-1997
The parish council sought judicial review of the district council’s planning decision. The respondents complained at the lack of promptness in the application, and suggested a lack of standing to complain. . .
CitedRegina v Independent Television Commission, ex parte TV Northern Ireland Limited CA 30-Dec-1991
An application for judicial review must be made with the utmost promptness and particularly so where third party rights may be affected. This requirement is additional to the three month limit. . .
CitedRegina v Southampton Crown Court ex parte J and P 21-Dec-1992
A special material warrant was quashed, partly because it was too widely drawn. It was suspected that there had been thefts from the solicitor’s firms client account. Watkins LJ discussed the need for a judge to give reasons for a decision under . .
ApprovedH, Regina (on the Application of) v Commissioners of Inland Revenue Admn 23-Oct-2002
The appellant sought judicial review of the seizure by the respondents of computers found on its premises in the course of executing warrants under the Act, even though the computers might contain other matters not relevant to any investigation.
CitedKent Pharmaceuticals Ltd and others v Serious Fraud Office Admn 2002
There was to be an investigation by the SFO into allegations that some in the pharmaceutical industry were dishonestly increasing the price charged for drugs supplied to the NHS. On 27th March 2002 District Judge Nicholas Evans received written . .
CitedMcGrath v Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary and Another HL 12-Jul-2001
Police were not liable for false imprisonment after arresting a person named in a warrant which had been issued by another police force as a result of one person who was arrested falsely giving the other person’s name. The warrant might have been . .

Cited by:
See AlsoFaisaltex Ltd and Others v Lancashire Constabulary and Another QBD 24-Jul-2009
The claimants wished to claim damages saying that in executing a search warrant, the defendant had made excessive seizures of material. The claimants sought inspection by independent counsel of the materials seized to establish this in a manner . .
CitedGlenn and Co (Essex) Ltd), Regina (on The Application of) v HM Revenue and Customs Admn 18-Jun-2010
The company objected to the search of its offices and removal by the defendant of its computers, the officers having entered without any warrant purporting to use powers under the 1989 Act.
Held: The request for judicial review failed. The . .
CitedMills and Another, Regina (on The Application of) v Sussex Police and Another Admn 25-Jul-2014
The claimants faced criminal charges involving allegations of fraud and corruption. They now challenged by judicial review a search and seizure warrant saying that it was unlawful. A restraint order had been made against them and they had complied . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Police, Judicial Review, Legal Professions

Updated: 02 November 2021; Ref: scu.278216