Home Information Cases Watford Petroleum Ltd v Interoil Trading SA & Anor (2005)

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Watford Petroleum Ltd v Interoil Trading SA & Anor (2005)

Summary

The supervisory powers of the court under the Civil Procedure Rules were such that in an appropriate case a court could order cross-examination on an interlocutory basis.

Facts

The claimant company (W) applied for an order that the deponent of an affidavit (X) attend the court for cross-examination. The court had made an order requiring the defendant company to explain what had happened to certain computers. Prior to the date disclosure was due, X had sworn an affidavit explaining what had happened to the computers. W argued that X's affidavit raised legitimate questions of concern such that he should attend the court for cross-examination.

Held

Legitimate questions of concern raised by W did not mean necessarily that X should be cross-examined. X had complied with the court order and it was clear from the affidavit that other evidence ought to be provided on disclosure. Until the material had been examined, disclosure complied with and the computers examined, the instant application was premature. The supervisory powers of the court under the Civil Procedure Rules were such that in an appropriate case a court could order cross-examination on an interlocutory basis. In the exercise of the overriding objectives and the just and expeditious disposal of cases, the courts could and should make an order for cross-examination if such an order could achieve the shortening of issues and court time. While such an order was likely to be exceptional, the principle was not confined to freezing and search orders or post-judgment issues.

Application refused.

Chancery Division
Peter Smith J
Judgment date
22 February 2005
References

[2005] EWHC 852 (Ch); LTL 23/2/2005