In the early 1750s, pursuer James Kempt and defender David Liddel entered into a co-partnership for distilling spirits in Leith. In 1752 Kempt sued Liddel for outstanding debts arising from the partnership. One piece of evidence in the litigation was a cash-book mostly written by Liddel. The suit was dormant until revived in 1766. By this time the original cash-book written by Liddel was missing. In its place Kempt supplied a cash-book written by him (Kempt) or another person. Liddel maintained that this newer cash-book did not contain the original records of the co-partnership and therefore cannot be used against him in the litigation.