In Marine Rescue Technologies and another v Burchill and others – Butterworths Law Direct 15.8.07 the Defendants applied for specific disclosure in December 2006. The court dismissed the application but ordered standard disclosure to be given by 19.1.07. No disclosure was given by that date. A further order was made on 19 2.07 for standard disclosure. That order was an unless order, to be complied with within 14 days, which would result, if not complied with, in the automatic strike out of the Claimants' claim. The Claimants sent a list to the Defendants on 1.3.07 but that list did not contain a disclosure statement. A disclosure statement was subsequently provided, but not until 15 March. The disclosure statement made it clear that no search had been made of the second Claimant's home and no reason was given as why it had not been carried out. None of the e-mails or back-up tapes were searched either. The Claimants applied to re-instate their claim, submitting that they had complied with the disclosure order relying on correspondence in 2005 and the letter of 1.3.07.

The issue arose as to whether: (i) the claim had been automatically struck out; and (ii) if had been struck out, whether the claim ought to be re-instated.

It was held that the Claimants could not rely on either the disclosure given in 2005 or the service of lists by the letter dated 1.3.07. The claim had been struck out automatically on 5.3.07. The claim would not be re-instated in view of the fact that there had been a complete failure to search the second Claimant's home, laptop, back-up tapes and the e-mail severs; and because there had been no explanation of why to have done so would have been unreasonable.