Lovells litigation partner Andrew Foyle will be required to give evidence in relation to his client British American Tobacco (BAT) in the $289bn (£165.68bn) case, United States of America v Philip Morris & Others.
Mr Justice Moore-Bick ruled yesterday (10 December) that Foyle must give evidence in the case, in which BAT is a co-defendant.
Foyle’s advice in relation to the tobacco giant’s document retention previously came under scrutiny in the Australian McCabe v BAT case.
The Australian courts originally found in favour of lung cancer victim Rolah McCabe, but the decision was overturned by the Court of Appeal. Both the company and its lawyers were completely exonerated. Last month the High Court ruled that it would not give the McCabe family leave to appeal the decision.
Now Foyle has been asked to provide evidence for the US claim – although the evidence will be heard in the UK. However, this decision does not suggest that Foyle or Lovells had acted improperly. The judgment states that the United States has no present intention of bringing criminal or civil proceedings against Mr Foyle.
Lovells represented BAT. The US government was represented by Steven Loble of Loble Solicitors. Norton Rose advised Foyle and Herbert Smith acted for BAT chief executive Martin Broughton, who was not ordered to give evidence.
Lovells declined to comment.