Slater and Gordon case judge worried about witness statement glut

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The judge handling Slater and Gordon’s billion-dollar claim against Watchstone Group is worried about a glut of witness statements in the case.

Justice Christopher Butcher said during an application hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice that he is concerned by applications that rely on eight witness statements. Each of these statements could be more than 30 pages, the Law Society Gazette said.

The judge said that there is no cap on these statements, and that he is “not very keen on what could be an enormous amount of witness statements.” The inclusion of witness statements of more than 30 pages have been made subject to separate applications, the Law Society Gazette said.

Slater and Gordon sued the Watchstone Group in June for $1bn in damages stemming from the failed acquisition of Quindell’s professional services business. After the unit’s acquisition, the company adopted the Watchstone name.

The lawsuit alleges that Watchstone and its management defrauded the ASX-listed law firm while it was deciding to buy the business. The unit was later mostly written off by the law firm, which ended in a loss of more than $1bn in fiscal year 2016.

CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang is acting for Slater and Gordon. The firm has instructed Oliver Jones of Brick Court Chambers.

Dorsey & Whitney, which has instructed Richard Millett QC of Essex Court Chambers, is representing the Watchstone Group.


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