On 24 January 2013, a High Court judge dismissed an application for anonymity by numerous Barclays individuals, thereby effectively ordering Barclays to name senior executives linked to the UK and US regulatory investigations into LIBOR. The order was made in the ongoing test case in the English Commercial Court brought by private parties against Barclays Bank for the alleged misselling of interest rate swaps, such claims based in part on the recent findings of the US and UK regulatory authorities regarding LIBOR.
The judge, Mr Justice Flaux, heard submissions on behalf of the individuals concerned and Barclays, as well as media organisations. However, the evidence advanced in favour of anonymity was not considered sufficiently “clear and cogent” to justify a derogation from the establish principle of open and transparent justice. Furthermore, Flaux J did not agree that the proper administration of justice required that people be protected from reputational harm. In the context of ongoing regulatory and criminal investigations, Flaux J considered a letter sent by the US Department of Justice Criminal Division (“DOJ”) to the English court requesting the preservation of the anonymity of the individuals so as not to prejudice the DOJ criminal investigations. However, he was not satisfied that the proposed disclosure of names would have that effect.