Non-Party Disclosure

Non-party disclosure orders are used to obtain disclosure from parties not directly involved in proceedings, but which may hold documents that are relevant to the matter. 

The most straightforward route to non-party disclosure is the procedure set out in rule 31.17 of the Civil Procedure Rules 1998, however this may only be used where proceedings are already underway.

A good example of the use of non-party disclosure orders relate to the obtaining of bank statements from non-party banks to aid an investigation as to the wrongdoing at the heart of a case.

Commonly, disclosure from non-parties (third parties) is required to assist in identifying a potential defendant or to obtain information required to properly set out its’ claim, in which circumstances CPR 31.17 is not available.

Such orders are normally granted under what is known as the Court’s equitable jurisdiction as first established in the case of Norwich Pharmacal.

Tenet has experience of making a Norwich Pharmacal application to require a bank to disclose information or documents held in relation to an account holder such as their name, address and bank statements.

Not only does such an order allow the applicant to identify potential defendants but also allows it to trace funds assisting in recovery.

There are various other routes to obtaining a non-party disclosure order, particularly in cases of suspected fraud, and Tenet is well placed to advise accordingly as well as dealing with the nuances of how a Court Order of this nature should be drafted to limit exposure to unexpected costs of the non-party providing disclosure.

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