Search orders

Litigators will know that the court will not permit the carrying out of a search order in civil proceedings without a supervising solicitor having been appointed. The supervising solicitor is a solicitor independent of the parties whose role it is to serve the order on the respondent, provide certain explanations as to the meaning and effect of the terms of the order in everyday language, and supervise the carrying out of the order by the applicant’s representatives.

Our experience

Serving and executing a search order can be a challenging process. The most senior members of our supervising solicitor team have, between them, supervised searches of premises on over 75 occasions. Our most experienced team member has been acting as a supervising solicitor for over 20 years.

Our team has a wealth of experience in dealing with search orders, both as supervising solicitors for third parties and in advising their own clients in substantial fraud, intellectual property infringement, wrongful use of data and confidential information cases, among others.

Our experience means that we are able to handle the complex legal and practical issues that may arise during the course of the execution of a search order. We offer secure storage facilities for documents and electronic images obtained during a search and are able to provide IT and other facilities for the inspection and consideration of electronic images following the carrying out of the search.

Without compromising their independence and obligations, our supervising solicitors are able to provide guidance on technical, practical and other logistical matters to help ensure that any search order is executed as smoothly as possible.

We are able to provide up to eight solicitors with experience as supervising solicitors comprising mixed teams of male and female supervising solicitors where appropriate, anywhere in England and Wales, often at very short notice (though the earliest possible notice of an intention to apply for a search order is always appreciated). We can also provide supervising solicitors for single or multi-site searches.

We believe there are few, if any, other firms that can match our experience in acting as supervising solicitors.

Who we are retained by

Our work is principally carried out for major law firms based in and around the City of London. We have also undertaken work for the Serious and Organised Crime Agency (now part of the National Crime Agency) If required, we can provide suitable contact details so that you can take up references. Indeed, we would encourage you to do so.

Our fees

Although we are a City-based practice our fees are very competitive and we shall be happy to discuss funding options with you. We are also happy to discuss any specific requirements with you in advance and in confidence.

Other assistance

As well as acting as supervising solicitors we are able to represent clients in either obtaining a search order or advising them how to respond to any search order (and related orders) served upon them. For solicitors not familiar with search orders, we would be happy to discuss acting for your client direct or acting as your agent or simply advising you behind the scenes.

About us

We are experienced in all types of enforcement procedures and will be able to advise you as to the option(s) most appropriate for your circumstances.

If you have any questions about this guide or any other matters, please do not hesitate to contact one of the following members of our Dispute Resolution Group at or using the following contact details:


Rob Oakley

Malcolm Robson

Alex de Jongh

Leticia Jennings

Mindy Jhittay

Paul Seath 

Louise McCartney

Martin Bunch