One of the issues in this case was whether the claimant should be given permission under CPR r. 6.15(1) to serve the claim form and the particulars of claim upon the defendant at an alternative place, namely the offices of its solicitors. The witness statement in support of the application stated that it was not known where the defendant was domiciled and it had been unable to ascertain the defendant's registered address in Sierra Leone. The defendant's solicitors had been asked three times to provide details of the address, but there had been no reply.
The defendant argued that its address could have been ascertained by a search of the Companies Registry in Sierra Leone. A search of the entry for another defendant would have revealed a share certificate which gave the defendant's address in the Cayman Islands.
That argument was rejected by the judge: "It should not be incumbent on a party in the position of [the claimant] to have recourse to that level of research". Although the defendant was under no duty to co-operate with the claimant, that failure was said to be a "highly relevant factor in deciding whether there was a good reason for authorising alternative service". Furthermore, if the defendant's solicitors thought that it was justifiable not to co-operate because they believed the claim was clearly lacking in merit, they should have said so: "A repeated failure to give any response at all to polite requests by another solicitor is discourteous".