Disclosure v. Blocking Statutes

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The recent decision in Secretary of State for Health and others v Servier Laboratories Ltd and others;; National Grid Electricity Transmission plc v ABB Ltd and others [2013] EWCA Civ 1234, concerned an appeal by two companies (in unrelated cases but concerning the same issues) that sought relief from a dilemma in which they claimed a court order placed them. The dilemma was as follows: if the companies provided information pursuant to an English court order they risked prosecution in France but, if the companies did not comply with the court order, they risked being held in contempt of court in England.

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This decision is slightly peculiar because it concerns two appeals, but because of the court’s listing commitments there was no joint hearing. However, both appeals raised similar questions. This article describes the facts of the first appeal in Secretary of State for Health and others v Servier Laboratories Ltd (Servier) and others (the Servier appeal) only by way of illustration.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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