0370 270 6000

Koch Shipping Inc v Richards Butler, Court of Appeal

30 August 2002
The issues

Confidentiality – A Solicitor moving firms during litigation.

The facts

Jane Peaston had been a Partner in Jackson Parton who acted for Koch Shipping. She had handled a lengthy arbitration case for them. She left Jackson Parton and joined Richards Butler. They were instructed on the other side in the same arbitration. She joined them as a Consultant in their Shipping Department. She offered an undertaking to her previous firm not to discuss the case or communicate with the arbitration case handlers at Richards Butler, but refused to agree to an undertaking to work at home or somewhere other than the London Office. The Judge on the Application of Koch, ordered Richards Butler to be restrained from continuing to act for its client in the arbitration on the ground that there was a risk of inadvertent disclosure by Jane Peaston of confidential information.

The decision

1. Miss Peaston was a conscientious Solicitor of integrity. The Judge at first instance had found little danger of Koch’s information being disclosed and described the risk as “slight”, but following Young -v- Rhodes, he found that he could not dismiss the risk as fanciful and therefore made the Order he did.

2. However, the suggestions made by Counsel supporting the Judge’s Order were fanciful. It was far-fetched to suppose she might inadvertently disclose confidential information. The Injunction would be lifted.

Focus on...

Legal updates

Court of Appeal confirms exclusive English jurisdiction clause in excess liability policies in Canadian pipeline dispute

On 10 June 2022 the Court of Appeal upheld an anti-suit injunction granted in favour of insurers by Mr Justice Jacobs in September 2021 restraining proceedings from being brought in Canada and enforcing the exclusive English jurisdiction clause in excess liability policies.



Payment Fraud landscape shaped by technology in 2021

Payment systems across Europe are under increased pressure to mitigate fraud risks and defend against persistent attacks from enablers using ever more sophisticated and malicious viruses and malware.


Legal updates

Gosden and another v Halliwell Landau and another [2021] EWHC 159 (Comm)

This claim addressed the question, of when the date for assessment of damages in cases of negligence should be determined and shows that when appropriate the Courts will depart from the default position.


Legal updates

Assessing the scope of employers liability – Chell v Tarmac

These were the opening remarks of Mr Justice Martin Spencer when handing down his Judgment in the recent case of Andrew Chell v Tarmac Cement and Lime Limited [2020] EWHC 2613, the latest in a series of appeals dealing with the scope of vicarious liability.


The content on this page is provided for the purposes of general interest and information. It contains only brief summaries of aspects of the subject matter and does not provide comprehensive statements of the law. It does not constitute legal advice and does not provide a substitute for it.

Mailing list sign up

Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up