SOCIAL MEDIA AND CIVIL EVIDENCE: WHAT DID YOU SAY ON LINKEDIN?

Social media played a part in the decision of Registrar Derrett in Green -v- Marston [2016] EWHC B11 (Ch). It illustrates the importance of social media across many fields of litigation.

THE CASE

The claimant was the liquidator of a company which was seeking repayment of sums paid to the defendant prior to insolvency. The key issue was whether the defendant was a de facto director of the company. This was denied by the defendant, Mr Lochner.

LINKED IN

The Registrar considered the evidence from the defendant’s LinkedIn profile.

“Business Card/LinkedIn
  1. In cross-examination counsel drew Mr Lochner’s attention to his business card for SMG where he is described as Corporate Finance Director and also his LinkedIn profile where the same description Corporate Finance Director is used. The profile says that he has held this position from ‘August 2009 – Present (4 years 1 month)’ which would mean September 2013. Mr Lochner said that he was asked to use this title and that he took it down when the Company went into Liquidation. Counsel drew his attention to the fact that the Company went into Creditors’ Voluntary Liquidation in February 2013. In the bundle there is another print of Mr Lochner’s LinkedIn profile where he is still described as the Corporate Finance Director of the Company and it states ‘August 2009 – present (5 Years 4 months)’ which takes us to December 2014. Mr Lochner conceded that he took it down sometime after the Company went into liquidation.”

THE RESULT

As a result of this, and it has to be said a panoply of other evidence, the defendant was found to be a shadow director and liable to make the repayments.

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