Obtaining Advisers' Files

Below is a template letter as a starting point for obtaining the files of any advisers who may have acted for you such as legal, accounting and other advisers:

Dear Sirs

INSTRUCTIONS IN RELATION TO [ NAME COMPANY / INDIVIDUAL]

I refer to your instructions in relation to the above matter to act on behalf of [INSERT DETAIL] and understand that you were employed under a contract for services in such regards. It is envisaged unless you evidence to the contrary that you may have acted amongst other things in the capacity as agent. Please confirm.

I would be grateful if you could forward to me your complete files created, received and maintained relating to the same, including but not limited to those held on paper or electronically, including emails for example and other electronic files. The same is intended to include any document that you received, created, issued, worked on, retain and forwarded to anyone.

I may be obliged under legislation in any event to ensure that such records are held under my custody / control.

The grounds for this request are based upon ownership of documents or data that you have created or received for these engagements. This includes but is not limited to, whether or not the engagements were in a sole capacity, joint or at the request of other legal entities.

I would therefore refer you to the principle shown in Walker Morris v Khalastchi [2001] 1 BCLC in which the following statement was in the Judgment that was handed down in relation to documents which a liquidator claimed:

“…The starting point is that the files are the property of the Company, and the liquidator is entitled to possession of them. The applicants have no right whatsoever to withhold them.”

If the test of ownership is disputed in relation to any of the documents or data then please provide for me the classes and / or categories of documents that you created on the requested files. Please also confirm the basis for your claim(s) to ownership.

Whilst responding with the files please confirm in what capacity from your perspective you acted in relation to all files you created.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours faithfully


[NAME AND CAPACITY IN WHICH SIGNING]

The aforesaid is not legal advice and is not to be relied upon as such. No liability is accepted by the writer for any reliance placed on the same.

If you have a specific query then you should seek independent legal advice on the same.

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