If there is an extremely strong prima facie case and the court is concerned that the respondents may destroy evidence, including evidence as to their assets, the court may grant a search and seizure order.
The search order enables the applicant’s legal team, together with others such as computer forensic experts, to enter the respondent’s premises, and search for, and seize, relevant evidence. Often this involves imaging computers and other electronic devices on which relevant evidence may be held.
Such orders can be extremely powerful tools. In one case PCB obtained orders to search 3 premises (2 residential, 1 commercial) at which around 140 computers and electronic devices were imaged, leading to evidence that was instrumental in obtaining further orders and ultimately settlement of the case.
When the search is conducted, the Court appoints a suitably qualified solicitor to supervise the search to ensure that the search order is properly executed and to report to the Court on the conduct of the search. Due to their experience of obtaining and executing search orders as well as advising clients who have been served with search orders, partners of PCB Litigation have been approved by the Court to act as supervising solicitors.
Cases on which they have been appointed include searches of both residential and commercial property, with one search of commercial premises being executed over a period of more than 3 weeks due to the volume of material to be covered by the search.