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  • High Court Steps In to Protect Hedge Fund's Confidential Information

    10th May 2017

    Confidential information is the lifeblood of many companies and they are entitled to expect that it will not find its way into the press.

    However, most court proceedings in the UK are open to the public. This can create problems for participants in litigation and in such cases the courts can be asked to limit the information which comes into the public domain or even to hold proceedings 'in camera'.

    In one case, the High Court ordered an international news agency not to disclose sensitive details concerning a global hedge fund's dealings with professional investors.

    The fund had provided a package of documents electronically to 36 investors. Each investor was telephoned before the documents were sent and informed of their sensitive nature. They were headed 'Private and Confidential' and 'Not For Distribution' and could only be opened using a password.

    The news agency did not have possession of the documents themselves, but had come by information that was clearly derived from them. The source of the leak was likely to have been one of the investors, but his or her identity was unknown to the fund and the agency had declined to reveal its source.

    In granting an interim non-disclosure injunction against the agency, the Court found that the fund had a strong argument that the information that the agency wished to publish was confidential.

    The fund was also more likely than not to establish at trial that disclosure of the information by the agency would be an actionable breach of confidence. The fund had a good arguable case that the order was a necessary and proportionate restriction on the agency's freedom of expression.

    Contact us for advice on preventing commercially sensitive information being made public at any of our offices listed below: 
    Devizes - 01380 722311
    Chippenham - 01249 478333
    Marlborough - 01672 518620

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