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Alex J.
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 3665
Experience:  Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
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We are taking one of our former clients to court payment

Resolved Question:

We are taking one of our former clients to court for non payment of invoices. While preparing for the court case we have been looking into the company in more detail and have uncovered evidence of what we believe to be fairly systematic fraud against quite a number of people and organisations.
Part of the service we provided was for data backup of their websites and office data, including their email server. We still have backup copies of all the company emails and given the way the company has been behaving, we’re confident there must be more evidence of fraud and wrongdoing among their emails.
We have reported the matter to the police, but we suspect that as it stands they may not puruse the matter very far, partly because we know they have their own considerable budget restraints, but also the scheme is quite complex and each individual piece of evidence could just about be explained away by a sharp lawyer, at least to the point that the police may not want to commit resources to it.
Given this, our question would be, what would be the legal situation regarding us accessing the emails? We haven’t looked at them as we thought it would most likely be criminal for us to read them, but them someone mentioned that because we have the emails legitimately, we should be able to read them. Can anyone clarify what the legal position would be?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alex J. replied 1 year ago.
Hi,
Thank you for your question and welcome.
My name is ***** ***** I will assist you.
You do not own the data so I would not access it or use it. If you are going to access at all I would certainly not admit this in court or to the client as they may use this to allege breach of confidence.
Do you believe the data contains emails that are relevant to your claim?
Kind regards
AJ
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for your reply Alex, that was what we suspected. The emails almost certainly contain information relevant to our claim, although we're not overly concerned about that as already have considerable evidence that covers just about any defence they could possibly come up with (to the point that we really wonder why they're going ahead with the court case).

Our interest in their company emails was purely for evidence of a crime that we could pass on to the police

Expert:  Alex J. replied 1 year ago.
Hi,
Thank you.
I would only pass these emails to the police if:
(i) The police request them;
(ii) You are required by a court order.
In those cases you can safely disclose the information without further consequences.
Kind regards
AJ
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