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High Court judgment regarding disclosure in Liberian cyber-attack case


Following a case management conference heard over three days in June 2020, Peter MacDonald Eggers QC (sitting as a Deputy High Court Judge) has handed down judgment in Lonestar Communications v Kaye and others [2020] EWHC 1890 (Comm). 

The case concerns a claim by Lonestar Communications Corporation, a telecommunications company in Liberia, for substantial damages suffered as a result of a large number of distributed denial of service cyber-attacks that were perpetrated against it between October 2015 and February 2017.  In January 2019, the First Defendant, Daniel Kaye, pleaded guilty to carrying out the cyber-attacks on Lonestar and was sentenced to 32 months’ imprisonment.  In the civil proceedings in the Commercial Court Lonestar alleges that Mr Kaye carried out the attacks pursuant to a conspiracy with certain officers and/or employees of Lonestar’s main competitor in Liberia, an entity which is now a member of the Orange group, and also that entity’s former parent, a company within the Cellcom telecommunications group.  Lonestar alleges that the Orange and Cellcom corporate defendants are vicariously liable for the conduct of the individual defendants and claims damages in the sum of at least US$30 million plus exemplary damages.

The judgment contains a helpful summary of the key principles governing disclosure under PD 51U following the judgment of the Chancellor in McParland & Partners Ltd v Whitehead [2020] EWHC 298 (Ch).

The judgment is here.

Tony Singla appeared for the Claimant, instructed by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.