Search orders—the draft order and electronic documents
Search orders—the draft order and electronic documents

The following Dispute Resolution practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Search orders—the draft order and electronic documents
  • The draft order—general
  • The draft order—coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • The draft order—definition of document
  • The draft order—electronic (or soft copy) documents and imaging orders
  • Suggested wording for an imaging order
  • Inspection and disclosure of documents obtained pursuant to a search order
  • Inspection and disclosure of documents obtained pursuant to an imaging order
  • Obtaining passwords
  • Appointing an independent lawyer
  • More...

This Practice Note provides guidance on the contents of the draft order for a search order. For further related guidance, see Practice Notes:

  1. Search orders—guiding principles

  2. Search orders—the application

  3. Search orders—executing the order

  4. Search orders—key and illustrative decisions

This Practice Note refers to the concept of a supervising solicitor. For an explanation of that term and the role of supervising solicitors in this context, see Practice Note: Search orders—the application—The supervising solicitor.

The draft order—general

A search order must contain a number of provisions designed to protect the respondent, including giving the respondent time to seek legal advice, imposing strict restrictions on how items found in the search may be dealt with and a long list of undertakings to be given by the applicant, the applicant’s solicitor and the supervising solicitor.

There is an example form of order at CPR PD 25A, Annex—Search Order. For further information on this form of order, see Precedent: Search order. The drafting notes which accompany that Precedent give comprehensive guidance on what must be included in the draft order so as to ensure the established safeguards are in place.

The sections set out below in this Practice Note deal with some more specific points which may arise in connection with search orders, in particular as regards search orders concerning digital data, and should be read in conjunction with the drafting notes for Precedent:

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