Weatherford UK Ltd v Forbes - Scots employment judge could not order disclosure of documents held in USA by US company [2011] EAT

The powers of an Employment Judge sitting in a tribunal in Scotland (or England & Wales) to order disclosure of documents are limited to those of a Sheriff (or County Court). Accordingly there is no competence to order disclosure of material which was created by, and is in the possession of, a person outside of Great Britain.

Mr Forbes was Vice President of Weatherford UK Ltd (WUL), a company providing services to the gas and oil industry. He resigned following allegations of illicit payments and breaches of border regulations in Angola and Congo. WUL's parent company, Weatherford International Ltd (WIL) which was incorporated in Bermuda and headquartered in the USA, investigated these allegations, which would create serious potential criminal and civil liability for WIL. Indeed, its activities became subject to investigation by the US Justice Department.

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