Allason & Anor v Random House UK Ltd

Reference: [2002] EWHC 1030 (Ch)

Court: Chancery Division

Judge: Neuberger J

Date of judgment: 19 Apr 2002

Summary: Contempt of court - Disclosure of assets - Delay in complying with order - Inadequate disclosure


Instructing Solicitors: Simons Muirhead & Burton for the Defendant.


The Defendant applied to have Rupert Allason committed to prison for contempt of court for allegedly failing to comply with an order of Lloyd J concerning disclosure of assets. The Defendant’s grounds were that the delay in complying with the order was inexplicable, and what was disclosed late was not in compliance with the order.


(1) Whether the first Claimant was in contempt of court; (2) Whether the first Claimant should be committed to prison.


The Claimant’s explanation for the delay in his complying with the order was wholly and completely unsatisfactory and he was in serious contempt. The incomplete way in which he then attempted to comply with the order was also a contempt. However, he should be given a last chance to provide the information. If he failed to do so within the requisite time period, the court would reconsider whether he should be committed to prison.


A warning to those who think they can disobey orders of the Court.