Absolutely agree with the views expressed by Andreas White at Kingsley Napley on the value of WhatApp messages. The fact is that they, and other messaging and social media sites that permit messaging, are a key area for forensic investigators to look at, and not only in team moves, but across all different types of cases, including theft of intellectual property, fraud, corruption and money laundering.
With many cases we have worked on, if not the smoking gun, then valuable intelligence has been obtained from mining these sources. It is also important to consider the multiple places where these type of messages can exist apart from the actual devices themselves, the most prevalent being back-ups of the devices that can exist on other devices or in the Cloud. On one recent case, we identified and analysed back-ups of three separate devices that has been used over the relevant period, which yielded relevant intelligence from all of them.
As the world moves away from emails (not to say that they are not important - because they are) towards chat and messaging, these sources of evidence will become increasingly relevant in an increasing range of matters. As stated at the conclusion of the article: "a useful reminder that all electronic data, including from social media and instant messaging platforms, is potentially subject to disclosure in legal proceedings."
The Court of Appeal’s judgement in Forse & ors v Secarma Ltd & ors is an important case on springboard injunction applications in employee competition and team move cases. It is also a prime example of how WhatsApp messages can provide crucial evidence in such cases.