The claim disclosed no reasonable grounds for pursuing the relief sought and was an abuse of the Court’s process.
The Judge accepted D’s argument that, in all the circumstances, the claim should be struck out under CPR Part 3.4(2)(a) as it was ‘bound to fail’, and under CPR3.4(2)(b) as an abuse of the Court’s process of the kind recognised by the Court of Appeal in Jameel v Dow Jones & Co Inc.  QB 946. He held that the claim for a declaration in the very generalised and wide terms pleaded by C would serve no useful purpose and, as such, thatthere was no prospect of the Court granting any such relief at trial. There was no clear and crystallised dispute between the parties, only a contingent and speculative one. (-)
The Judge also rejected an attempt by C to amend his claim so as to expand the definition of his “confidential information” to include entirely new categories of business and financial information that had not been mentioned in his original complaint, holding that the proposed expanded claim suffered from the same defects as the original one.
In consequence, the Judge struck out the entire claim and ordered C to pay D’s legal costs, which the Court was told were over £235,000, as well as £118,000 on account of those costs. He dismissed C’s application for permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal, holding that it had no real prospect of success.
Before turning to the substance of the application, the Judge addressed two subsidiary points that arose for consideration but which were not determinative of the outcome:
(1) whether the ‘October 2017 event’ could properly be characterised as confidential information, and
(2) whether C could seek a declaration in relation to information concerning the business or financial affairs of third parties, such as family companies or other family members or their business associates, which was disclosed to his wife in the course of the marriage.
The Judge found for D on the first issue and C on the second, as only the latter satisfied the test in Coco v AN Clark (Engineers) Ltd  FSR 415 in that it possessed the necessary quality of confidence and was imparted in circumstances importing a duty of confidence. A duty of confidence was owed to, and enforceable by, the subject of the information as well as the person communicating it (-).