Sefe Marketing & Trading Limited -v- Vitol S.A. (privacy order)

Business and Property CourtsCivilCommercial CourtHigh CourtKing's Bench DivisionPrivacy Order

Case Number: Cl-2022-000569

In the High Court of Justice
Business and Property Courts of England and Wales
King’s Bench Division
Commercial Court

31 October 2022

The Hon. Mr Justice Andrew Baker (on Paper)

Sefe Marketing & Trading Limited
Vitol S.A.


UPON an application by the Claimant by Application Notice dated 28 October 2022 for an interim injunction and related interim relief (“the Application”)

AND UPON considering the request by the Claimant through solicitors’ correspondence for an urgent hearing of that application, and for an order that it be heard in private

AND UPON considering notes dated 31 October 2022 provided by Counsel for the Claimant, at the court’s request, summarising the basis upon which injunctive relief will be sought and the basis upon which the Claimant asks for any hearing to be in private

AND WHEREAS in this Order, “Confidential Evidence” means the Confidential Annex to the witness statement of Ulrike Engelmann dated 28 October 2022, Confidential Exhibit UE2 to that statement, any evidence served in response thereto, and/or any evidence in reply to any such evidence in response


  1. The Application shall be listed for hearing on Thursday 3 November, time estimate 1 day (including time for an immediate judgment), plus 4 hours’ reading time from 1 pm on Wednesday 2 November.
  2. A Hearing Bundle is to be provided by the Claimant by 1 pm on Tuesday 1 November.
  3. The Claimant’s Skeleton Argument is to be provided by 1 pm on Tuesday 1 November.
  4. The Defendant’s Skeleton Argument (if any) is to be provided by 1 pm on Wednesday 2 November.
  5. Any Confidential Evidence must be set out in witness statements, annexes thereto and/or exhibits capable of being identified and kept separate from all other evidence in the Application.
  6. All Confidential Evidence shall be and shall remain confidential to the parties, their legal representatives and the court, unless otherwise ordered.
  7. Pursuant to CPR 39.2(3)(c), the court will sit in private for any oral argument that will refer to any Confidential Evidence. The parties must agree and adhere to a timetable for oral argument that will allow all such oral argument to be taken at once, following completion of oral argument on matters not requiring reference to Confidential Evidence.
  8. The Hearing Bundle and each Skeleton Argument shall be prepared and provided to the court in two Parts capable of being identified and kept separate from each other, Part 1 (Open) and Part 2 (Private), Part 2 in each case being reserved for Confidential Evidence or submissions requiring reference to be made to Confidential Evidence.
  9. Pursuant to CPR 39.2(5), a copy of this Order is to be published on the website of the judiciary of England and Wales (, and any person not a party to this Claim may apply to attend the hearing and make submissions, or may apply to set aside or vary this Order, as regards paragraphs 5 to 8 above.
  10. This Order having been made without a hearing, and after having received representations on behalf only of the Claimant, the Defendant may apply for it or any part of it to be set aside, varied or discharged.
  11. Costs reserved.


Subject always to considering any representations made pursuant to paragraph 9 or 10 above:
(i) The Application seeks an interim injunction to restrain the Defendant from taking action said to have been threatened that it is said will cause immediate and irreparably harmful consequences from 8 November 2022 if not restrained by court order.
(ii) It is therefore necessary, if the court can accommodate it, for there to be a hearing of the Application this week; and the court can accommodate such a hearing.
(iii) The time estimate proposed by the Claimant’s solicitors of half a day (plus half a day for reading time) is unrealistic, however. The hearing will require up to a full day with four hours for pre-reading.
(iv) I am not persuaded that the proper administration of justice requires the hearing to be in private. The suggested justification for sitting in private is that doing so is necessary to preserve confidentiality in certain confidential, market-sensitive information to which, it is said, reference may need to be made in some parts of the argument. That justifies the following, but no further, departure from the principle of open justice, namely that the court should sit in private for any part of the hearing at which reference will be made to the Confidential Evidence, with directions for the preparation and conduct of the hearing to preserve the confidentiality of that evidence. Hence paragraphs 5 to 8 of this Order.