On 9 December, Addleshaw & Goddard LLP published an article about a recent Court of Appeal judgment which contains useful guidance on the use and purpose of search orders. If a search order is obtained, the search must be undertaken carefully, with appropriate safeguards, and must go no further than what the order permits. Otherwise, there is a risk that a court will find the Claimant to have breached the search order and the Defendant may look to have the claim struck out accordingly. It makes clear that an order for inspection is distinct, will require separate justifications and must be obtained prior to the inspection of documents found during the search order. The judgment made clear that the purpose of the search order involved was the preservation of evidence and, whilst the search order authorised inspection of the documents, it only authorised inspection during the course of the search, not subsequently, and only for the purposes of the search.
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