Jockey Club v Carphone Warehouse Ltd

Reference: [2005] EWHC 1151 (QB)

Court: Queen's Bench Division

Judge: Treacy J

Date of judgment: 5 Apr 2005

Summary: Sports Law- Jockey Club investigation – third party disclosure – Norwich Pharmacal jurisdiction – Article 8


Instructing Solicitors: Charles Russell


In the course of investigation into suspected corrupt betting activity the Jockey Club sought disclosure of mobile phone data held by the Carphone Warehouse. The information in relation to mobile phone data and a specific individual was believed to be of relevance to that investigation. The Carphone Warehouse, having obligations under the Data Protection Act, could not freely provide the information which was required by the Jockey Club for the purpose of its investigation. Accordingly, an application to the High Court was necessary.


Did the principles established in Norwich Pharmacal as explained in later cases, apply here? In other words had Carphone Warehouse by coming into possession of information, become mixed up in the activities of others? Was it under a duty to assist the Jockey Club where it had been shown that there was a legitimate interest to satisfy in the acquisition of information held by the party who had been mixed up in a particular matter? Further, in considering the matter from the viewpoint of the client of the defendant, whose right to privacy may, to some extent, be infringed by the granting of the order, was such infringement as would be involved in the disclosure of his identity and his telephone records, a matter which was proportionate to the matter in issue, and encompassed within the general ambit of Article 8(2)?


The Judge was satisfied that the basis for making such an order on Norwich Pharmacal principles was established here and that having considered the provisions of Article 8, and in particular Article 8(2), the purposes for which the Jockey Club requires the information in this case, was a matter which was encompassed in Article 8(2) and was a matter which justified the release of the information for the purpose sought by The Jockey Club.


The Jockey Club has power under its Rules to compel licensed individuals (including jockeys, trainers and owners) to produce information which it believes may assist or be relevant to its investigations in connection with horseracing. It does not however have any powers under the Rules to compel non-licensed individuals to provide it with such information, although refusal to co-operate is a ground for excluding a person from premises owned or licensed by the Jockey Club. The use of the Norwich Pharmacal jurisdiction is a significant step forward in the Jockey Club’s ability properly to investigate suspected corrupt betting.