Tuesday, October 30, 2018
The contempo High Court accommodation in Lonsdale v. National Westminster Bank plc  EWHC 1842 (QB) serves to highlight that the agreeable of a apprehensive action address (“SAR”) could be discloseable to an adversary in Court proceedings. Not alone that – it could additionally anatomy the base of a affirmation in defamation.
Mr Lonsdale captivated several accounts with National Westminster Bank (“Bank”). The Bank froze Mr Lonsdale’s accounts afterward the acquiescence of one or added SARs to the National Crime Agency (“NCA”) and afterwards gave him apprehension that they would be closing his accounts.
Mr Lonsdale started Court affairs adjoin the Bank alleging a) aperture of contract; b) defamation; and c) aperture of the Data Protection Act 1998.
Mr Lonsdale additionally activated beneath Civil Procedure Rule 31.14 for acknowledgment and analysis of the SARs, as the Bank had referred to them in its Defence (CPR 31.14 allows a affair to audit abstracts referred to an opponent’s account of case). The Bank adjoin Mr Lonsdale’s application.
The Court disqualified in favour of Mr Lonsdale’s and accustomed him to audit the SARs. This is admitting the Bank’s arguments that:
the SARs were confidential, accepting been appear to the NCA in the strictest confidence;
by advice the SARs the Bank may accomplish the answerability of “tipping off” and/or the answerability of authoritative a “disclosure which is acceptable to prejudice” an investigation; and
inspection was not all-important for the fair auctioning of the proceedings.
In acknowledgment to the Bank’s arguments, the Court held:
CPR 31.14 activated and the accustomed position is that analysis of abstracts should be accepted area they are mentioned in statements of case. The Court was not abiding to use its acumen otherwise.
There was not acceptable affirmation that the SARs should be kept confidential. The Court referenced the actuality that they had been submitted about sixteen and seven months ago respectively.
There was no affirmation that the Bank would be fabricated to accomplish an answerability as suggested. In any case, the Court was acclimation analysis 14 canicule afterwards the date of the order, to acquiesce the NCA time to administer to alter the order.
Inspection was all-important for the fair auctioning of the proceedings, as the SARs were audibly relevant. They were the primary communications that Mr Lonsdale declared to be defamatory.
There are a brace of acquaint to be learnt from this case.
Firstly, be accurate about the drafting of a SAR, chose your words carefully. It si bright that SARs will not consistently be captivated to be arcane and may be discloseable in Court proceedings. And you don’t appetite them actuality acclimated adjoin you to anatomy the base of a claim, in aspersion or otherwise.
Secondly, you will charge able affirmation to actuate the Court of the acquaintance of a certificate or the accident of committing an answerability of angled off/prejudicing an analysis to assure the SAR from acknowledgment to and analysis by an opponent. Mere affair over acquaintance will not be enough.
© Copyright 2018 Squire Patton Boggs (US) LLP
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