When you sign in to your LinkedIn account you might be surprised to find something nasty lurking in your inbox. Like legal papers. Last week, a High Court judge approved an order which allows a liquidator to serve a person connected with a liquidated firm with legal papers through social media site LinkedIn.
Judge Bronagh O’Hanlon permitted Accountancy firm PFK O’Connor, Leddy and Holmes, to serve papers on a person connected with the Irish Education and Research Institute, which also traded as the Irish Business School. The school, which taught English to foreign students, closed suddenly in May. PFK O’Connor, Leddy and Holmes, who had been appointed liquidators, could not contact the relevant person by email, fax or postal address.
Declan de Lacy, director of advisory and insolvency, noted that the liquidators had tried to serve papers but that the individual could not be reached, except through his LinkedIn account. “We put the circumstances on affidavit and asked for an order allowing us to serve papers through a LinkedIn page by sending them a message with the details of the case and a link to the URL where the papers are served,” de Lacy said. Once the Judge was satisfied that the account was active, the request to have the notice served through LinkedIn was granted. De Lacy added that technology on sites such as LinkedIn indicates to users if a message has been seen and read which proves that the document has been delivered. This is not the first time in Ireland a judge has granted approval to serve proceedings via social media. Two years ago, Judge Peart allowed for an order to be served using the social media site Facebook.