General Electric faces a multi-million pound legal claim over the collapsed German airline Blue Wings after a High Court judgement today.
When Blue Wings ceased operation in January 2010, GE subsidiary PK Airfinance had the right to repossess the aircraft.
Judge Havelock-Allan ruled that PK Airfinance must disclose all outstanding technical documents related to the planes it repossessed and then sold at auction.
Alpstream, a Swiss-based firm with a majority stake in the airline, claims PK had unnecessary maintenance work carried out on the aircraft and then sold them to another GE subsidiary for less than their market value.
Alpstream is owned by National Reserve Corporation, an investment group run by Alexander Lebedev, owner of the Evening Standard.
In his ruling on the pre-action disclosure brought by Alpstream, Judge Havelock-Allan said the papers needed to be disclosed as the applicants had a "far stronger position to make their case" against PK than in other similar civil cases.
He noted Alpstream "did not rule out that the applicants might raise a case based on one of the economic torts, such as conspiracy to use unlawful means or conspiracy to injure".
The judge refused a Alpstream's request for commercial documents relating to the sale of the aircraft to also be disclosed. But he said they would have to be released in the course of any subsequent civil action between the parties.