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The High Court has dismissed an application, brought by two members of the Ocado group (“Ocado”), for permission to make a committal application for alleged interference with the due administration of justice. Ocado thus alleged the commission of a criminal contempt and brought their application under CPR, r.81.14.

The claim arose out of the ongoing proceedings brought by Ocado against Mr. Jonathan Faiman and his business, Project Today Holdings Ltd (“Today”), and Mr. Jonathan Hillary. Ocado obtained and served an ex parte Search and Evidence Preservation Order on Mr. Faiman. Ocado alleged that the respondent, then a partner at Jones Day LLP, having been informed of that order, had intentionally caused the destruction of (i) documents and information defined in that order; (ii) documentary material of relevance to the claim against Today, Mr. Faiman and Mr. Hillary; and (iii) documentary material of relevance to a potential claim against him.

The Honourable Mr. Justice Marcus Smith dismissed the application in its entirety, holding that the grounds of contempt did not disclose a prima facie case. 

Robert Weekes was sole counsel for the successful respondent. 

The two judgments in respect of the application are available here and here.

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