Supervising Solicitor Services

What is a Supervising Solicitor?

Search Orders are one of the most powerful tools that a claimant has and, in order to undertake one, there is a requirement for the claimant’s solicitors to carry out the search order under the guidance of a Supervising Solicitor who will also serve the papers and prepare a detailed report to the Court.

If you have a client who is, for example, a victim of fraud, reacting quickly and decisively is crucial. Seizing and preserving evidence at a very early stage can be critical to ensuring a successful outcome to any fraud investigation or proceedings that may take place.

Search Order

A Search Order allows a claimant’s representative to enter the other party’s premises and search for, remove and detain the documents, information or material set out in the search order. They are generally made before a claim is issued, though they can be made at any time during proceedings.

Although most commonly made in financial fraud matters, they are also regularly granted in support of matters involving information theft in intellectual property related claims, breach of confidence disputes and even in divorce proceedings. This ensures that documentary and computer-based evidence is preserved and protected in advance of trial.

Importantly, before a Search Order is granted to be executed at the defendant’s home or work premises, the Court requires that an independent Supervising Solicitor must be appointed to supervise the search and report to the Court on the execution of the Search Order

The Supervising Solicitor is the first person to make contact with the Respondent and gain access to the search site. Therefore, the relationship that the Supervising Solicitor establishes with the Respondents and their lawyers is extremely important and a key factor in aiding the successful execution of a Search Order

Obtaining a search order is not straightforward, and the applicant will need to demonstrate that the other party’s actions have resulted in serious potential or actual damage to the applicant; that there is actual evidence that the items are in the opponent’s possession, and that there is a strong case against the opponent.

What We Can Do

Berry Smith has experience in acting for parties in seeking such orders and acting as Supervising Solicitors, independent officers of the court, to ensure that a search order has been properly executed.