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Lovells litigation partner Andrew Foyle may be forced to give evidence in relation to his client British American Tobacco (BAT), this time in a $280bn (£164.4bn) case, United States of America v Philip Morris & ors.
Foyle is currently awaiting the outcome of a UK hearing held earlier this month that will decide whether he 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 Australian McCabe v BAT.
The Australian courts originally found in favour of lung cancer victim Rolah McCabe, but the decision was overturned by the Court of Appeal, which completely exonerated both the company and its lawyers. 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 written and video-taped evidence for the $280bn claim. The latest hearing does not suggest that Foyle or Lovells acted improperly. It revolves around whether the information should remain confidential because of legal privilege.
Foyle has been granted immunity from criminal prosecution by the US Department of Justice.
Lovells is representing BAT, the US government is represented by Steven Loble, of Loble Solicitors, Norton Rose is advising Foyle and Herbert Smith is acting for BAT chief executive Martin Broughton, who is also being asked to give evidence.
Lovells declined to comment as the matter is ongoing.