One of the key weapons for any asset recovery specialist is an ability to use the courts to discover critical facts necessary to make out a case against suspected fraudsters or to track down the location of misappropriated assets.
Orders against the putative fraudster are often ignored and so information may instead have to be secured from third parties. It is in this context that the English courts have made so called Norwich Pharmacal orders.
Such orders can ordinarily only be made against a third party within the jurisdiction of the court, but the information may be needed for contemplated or actual proceedings against the putative fraudster before a foreign court. Recent caselaw shows a divergence between the approach taken by the English courts to such a situation and that taken by courts in certain offshore jurisdictions. Practitioners considering available international asset recovery options would be well advised to bear these differences in mind.