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Stephen Ross (00:04):
Along with freezing orders. Search orders are one of the most powerful weapons in the armory of the English courtsin the fight against alleged fraudsters. They can allow your legal team, accompanied by forensic and any other experts you need to enter the premises of the target fraudster or his associates, whether that's a place of business or the family home, to search for and seize copies of documents or information on computers or even the cloud. In certain exceptional cases, the courts are willing to allow search orders against the property of innocent third parties and allow electronic devices to be cracked without notice. So how do you get a search order? Search orders are applied for without notice to your opponent, and so if you play your cards right,the target fraudster won't know you're coming and will not have the chance to destroy evidence. The aim is to preserve evidence pending afull trial or to preserve particular property, which is the subject of your complaint. For example, a laptop.An independent supervising lawyer appointed by the court accompanies your lawyers to the property to makesure they act properly when searching the premises. As with worldwide freezing orders, if the target fraudster fails to comply, he may be held in contempt. Search and seize orders are often obtained at the same time as a worldwide freezing order to ensurethat assets are not moved or dissipated. The legal hurdles you have to jumpover are very high because you appear in court without notice to your opponent. You have to convince the judge that youhave an extremely strong underlying case against the target fraudster, that the target fraudster has seriously damaged or potentially damaged your interests. There's a clear evidence that the target fraudster has in his possession incriminating documents or evidence, and there's a real possibility he may destroy them if given the chance.
Search and seizure orders are such a draconian remedy that your conduct in court and inapplying for the order must be exemplary. I'm Stephen Ross, partnering witha specializing fraud litigation. For more videos on key fraud topics, see our website. Thanks for watching.