French defendants must comply with disclosure order despite risk of criminal sanctions

In National Grid Electricity Transmission plc v ABB Ltd & 22 ors [2013] EWHC 822 (Ch), French entities engaged in proceedings before the English court were required to comply with an order for specific disclosure issued in those proceedings despite the risk of prosecution under French law for doing so.

In 2007, the European Commission found that 20 companies had engaged in an extensive and sophisticated international cartel regarding the supply of equipment needed to control energy flow in electricity grids. This case arises out of a claim for damages in the English High Court made by National Grid Electricity Transmission plc against the cartel. Three of the defendants were French entities who objected to an order for specific disclosure on the basis of the existence of a French law that made it illegal for them to provide the requisite documents.

French law No 68-678, Article 1 bis of 26 July 1968 (subsequently modified), prohibits any person from requesting documents or information of an economic, commercial, industrial, financial or technical nature for the purposes of providing evidence for foreign judicial proceedings. Breaches of this article attract criminal penalties if prosecuted. Giving his judgment, Roth J assumed that the production of documents by the French defendants would breach the blocking statute…

If you are registered and logged in to the site, click on the link below to read the rest of the Allen & Overy briefing. If not, please register or sign in with your details below.

Sign in or Register to continue reading this article

Sign in

Register

It's quick, easy and free!

It takes just 5 minutes to register. Answer a few simple questions and once completed you’ll have instant access.

Register now

Why register to The Lawyer

 

Industry insight

In-depth, expert analysis into the stories behind the headlines from our leading team of journalists.

 

Market intelligence

Identify the major players and business opportunities within a particular region through our series of free, special reports.

 

Email newsletters

Receive your pick of The Lawyer's daily and weekly email newsletters, tailored by practice area, region and job function.

More relevant to you

To continue providing the best analysis, insight and news across the legal market we are collecting some information about who you are, what you do and where you work to improve The Lawyer and make it more relevant to you.

Analysis from The Lawyer

  • Panel reviews

    Panel reviews 2014: The chosen ones

    Which firms are cutting it in this era of slimline rosters, and who are the GC new brooms making clean sweeps? The Lawyer can reveal all

  • training

    Accutrainee: Revolution postponed

    At the time of its launch Accutrainee was described as a revolutionary change to the training model. Has it proved to be so? Not really.

View more analysis from The Lawyer

Overview

One Bishops Square
London
E1 6AD
UK
http://www.allenovery.com

Turnover (£m): 1,234.30
No. of lawyers: 2,194 (UK 200)
Jurisdiction: UK
No. of offices: 11
No. of qualified lawyers: 273 (International 50)