A recent decision from the High Court in the Walker v Forbes litigation also reaffirms the Court’s protection of a defendant’s personal financial information. The plaintiff, Mr Walker, the liquidator of Property Ventures Ltd, sought discovery of the insurance policy of one of the defendants, Mr Hansen, in an attempt to determine the amount of insurance cover that Mr Hansen might have to meet the liquidator's claim against him.

The plaintiff acknowledged the preponderance of authority against requiring disclosure of a defendant’s insurance policy but invited a “fresh approach”.

However, the Court found there was no justification to extend the well-established policy against requiring disclosure. It also considered that Mr Walker was essentially trying to ascertain whether Mr Hansen had sufficient assets to meet any judgment, which was not a proper basis to require disclosure.

The application was declined.

The judgment is available here.

This decision and the Wenztro decision re-affirm that liquidators are not entitled to personal financial information about a prospective or actual defendant, absent possible or actual fraudulent receipt of funds by that person.