Tchenguiz v Director of The Serious Fraud Office and Others: CA 31 Oct 2014

The appellant challenged an order of the Commercial Court refusing permission for documents disclosed in English litigation to be used in litigation proceedings in Guernsey. The principal issue is whether the judge correctly weighed up the conflicting public interests which are in play.
Held: The appeal failed. The judge had correctly evaluated the conflicting public interests which were in play.
The sitations in which the question arises are highly fcatt sensitive and various, but the following principles emerged: ‘i) The collateral purpose rule now contained in CPR 31.22 exists for sound and long established policy reasons. The court will only grant permission under rule 31.22 (1) (b) if there are special circumstances which constitute a cogent reason for permitting collateral use.
ii) The collateral purpose rule contained in section 9 (2) of the 2003 Act is an absolute prohibition. Parliament has thereby signified the high degree of importance which it attaches to maintaining the co-operation of foreign states in the investigation of offences with an overseas dimension.
iii) There is a strong public interest in facilitating the just resolution of civil litigation. Whether that public interest warrants releasing a party from the collateral purpose rule depends upon the particular circumstances of the case. Those circumstances require careful examination. There are decisions going both ways in the authorities cited above.
iv) There is a strong public interest in preserving the integrity of criminal investigations and protecting those who provide information to prosecuting authorities from any wider dissemination of that information, other than in the resultant prosecution.
v) It is for the first instance judge to weigh up the conflicting public interests. The Court of Appeal will only intervene if the judge erred in law (as in Gohil) or failed to take proper account of the conflicting interests in play (as in IG Index).’

Jackson, Sharp, Vos LJJ
[2014] EWCA Civ 1409
England and Wales
CitedHome Office v Hariette Harman HL 11-Feb-1982
The defendant had permitted a journalist to see documents revealed to her as in her capacity as a solicitor in the course of proceedings.
Held: The documents were disclosed under an obligation to use them for the instant case only. That rule . .
CitedIG Index Ltd v Cloete CA 31-Jul-2014
In the course of unfair dismissal proceedings, the defendant had disclosed possession of confidential materials of his former employer. The employer began these proceedings based on the materials. Only at a later point when he appointed solicitors . .
CitedCrown Prosecution Service and Another v Gohil CA 26-Nov-2012
The CPS had obtained evidence through letters of request. Mr and Mrs Gohil had previously divorced and reached a financial settlement. The evidence apparently disclosed further substantial assets which W said had not been disclosed in the settlement . .
CitedMarlwood Commercial Inc v Kozeny CA 25-Jun-2004
Letters of request. The claimants brought an action for fraudulent misrepresentation. The documents disclosed by the defendants indicated there had been criminal conduct including bribery of the Azeri authorities. The Director of the SFO served . .
CitedSmithkline Beecham Plc/BASF AG v Generics (UK) Limited / Smithkline Beecham Plc CA 25-Jul-2003
The claimant had been involved in patent infringement proceedings. Papers had been disclosed to them under confidentiality conditions imposed by the judge. In these subsequent proceedings, they sought leave to use the material.
Held: An order . .
CitedFrankson and Others v Secretary of State for the Home Department; Johns v Same CA 8-May-2003
The claimants sought damages for injuries alleged to have been received at the hands of prison officers whilst in prison. They now sought disclosure by the police of statements made to the police during the course of their investigation.
Held: . .
CitedTaylor and Others v Director of The Serious Fraud Office and Others HL 29-Oct-1998
The defendant had requested the Isle of Man authorities to investigate the part if any taken by the plaintiff in a major fraud. No charges were brought against the plaintiff, but the documents showing suspicion came to be disclosed in the later . .
CitedCrest Homes Plc v Marks HL 1987
The plaintiffs brought two successive actions against the same defendants (Mr Marks and Wiseoak Homes Ltd) for breach of copyright. They obtained Anton Piller orders in both actions. The documents which the plaintiffs obtained from the defendants in . .
Appeal fromTchenguiz and Others v The Serious Fraud Office ComC 28-Jul-2014
The applicant sought orders as to the disclosure and use of documents disclosed in the current proceedings for use in a second set of proceedings in Guernsey.
Held: Two orders were granted, and one refused. . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Litigation Practice

Updated: 02 November 2021; Ref: scu.538194