In the trial of CMOC Sales & Marketing Ltd -V- Persons Unknown and 30 others , following the theft of substantial sums from CMOC’s bank account, the Court granted judgment in favour of the Sales & Marketing company. The Judgment discussed a range of topics of interest to litigators, particularly, the innovative methods of alternative service.
CMOC was the victim of fraud, which resulted in the theft of millions of US Dollars and Euros.
CMOC brought proceedings and obtained a worldwide freezing order against "persons unknown". They also obtained information and disclosure orders against various banks into which funds from its account had been paid, which enabled it to subsequently identify some of the named defendants, who were then joined to the proceedings.
The proceedings reached trial and CMOC sought judgment on its various claims, however, none of the defendants attended the trial.
HHJ Waksman QC, sitting as a High Court judge, allowed all claims against all of the relevant defendants. The Judge also made observations on a range of procedural and substantive topics.
HHJ Waksman observed that, where alternative modes of service were justified, it was not uncommon for service to take the form of posting the relevant materials on a public Facebook platform.
However, in this matter, CMOC had been permitted to serve the Defendants using Facebook Messenger as well as WhatsApp.
HHJ Waksman observed that the Court would proactively consider different forms of alternative service "where they can be justified in the particular case".
In my opinion, whilst Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp are a common form of communication, they are not necessarily secure enough. However, I also understand the need to ensure that Courts are up to date with technological advances.