An Australian couple have been served with legal documents over Facebook, with lawyer Mark McCormack using the social network to track down the two – accused of defaulting on a large loan.

McCormack may be the first lawyer globally to actually contact the pair after being given permission by the Australian court to use Facebook to file papers against them.

"We believe it's certainly the first time in Australia... and we haven't heard of it being done anywhere internationally," said Archie Tsirimokos, of McCormack's firm Meyer Vandenberg Lawyers told AFP.

Not at this address

The couple are believed to have defaulted on a loan of more than 100,000 AUD (£43,000) and were tracked down after not being found at their listed address.

The court also allowed the papers to be left at the last known home address after email contact had been made.

"We couldn't find the defendants personally after many attempts so we thought we would try and find them on Facebook. We did a public search based on the email address we had and the defendants' Facebook page appeared," the law firm added to Australia's Daily Telegraph.

Friends list

"The Facebook profiles showed the defendants' dates of birth, email addresses and friend lists - and the co-defendants were friends with one another.

"This information was enough to satisfy the court that Facebook was a sufficient method of communicating with the defendants."

The Australian courts recently hit the headlines after allowing a rugby player to be served via an SMS.