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Don’t let disclosure 
cost you your claim

Suez Fortune is a stark warning to any reticent clients of the consequences of failing to provide material to the other parties, write Chris Wilkes and Kate Pert

20 June 2016

In Suez Fortune Investments Limited and Piraeus Bank AE v Talbot Underwriting Ltd and others [2015] EWHC 42 (Comm), despite clear advice from its lawyers and repeated court orders, the first claimant placed 'a crucially important repository of evidence' beyond its legal control.

As a result, it was unable to comply with an unless order
and, despite an application for relief from sanctions under Civil Procedure Rule (CPR) 3.9, its claim (said to be worth $100m including interest) was
struck out.

The loss related to a vessel owned by the first claimant. When its agent ceased trading at the end of 2014, the electronic documents it held were put on a USB flash drive for safekeeping. However, the first claimant was apparently concerned that the wide variety of material on the USB might have consequences in other ongoing disputes, or even give rise to criminal proceedings.

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