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What is a Supervising Solicitor and why might you need one?

The civil courts of England and Wales have the power to order searches of homes, offices, and other locations by the claimant’s legal team.  Supervising solicitors are solicitors appointed by the court because they have experience in the execution of court orders such as search (an “Anton Piller” order) and doorstep delivery up orders (“DDOs”). They act independently of the parties and are responsible to the court, although she or he is paid by the claimant’s solicitors.

The supervising solicitor usually accompanies the claimant’s solicitors and serves the order on the respondent. They explain its meaning and consequences and supervises the order being carried out by the claimant’s legal representatives. All steps taken during the search are:

  • Overseen by the supervising solicitor;
  • Carried out in the presence of the respondent and/or their solicitor;
  • Must be sanctioned by the court order;
  • Reported to the court by the supervising solicitor.

Deciding who to appoint as the supervising solicitor is therefore crucial. The working relationship they are able to build with the parties on both sides of the dispute is extremely important and often assists in determining how efficiently and successfully search orders and DDOs are executed.

Child & Child’s Disputes Team has the requisite experience of executing and/or responding to search orders and DDOs, and managing the complex legal, technical, and practical issues that may arise during the course of executing these orders. Our litigation partners have over three decades of relevant experience in acting in injunction based litigation.

We are able to quickly assemble an experienced team to suit our clients’ particular needs, including where the respondent to a search order or DDO may be an unaccompanied female, and where children and/or vulnerable individuals may be present.

“Searches can be a stressful time, and a well-chosen supervising solicitor can be a reassuring presence. They are there to ensure that any search is done according to the law, and that the correct steps are followed. The supervising solicitor ensures that the process is fair, legal and done without unduly disturbing or upsetting those present.”

– Head of Dispute Resolution Nick Goldstone

Posted By Nick Goldstone

1 May 2024

Nick Goldstone
Partner & Head of Dispute Resolution