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 & Ors.
Mr Justice Moore-Bick last Wednesday (10 December) ruled that Foyle must give evidence in the case, in which BAT is a co-defendant.
Foyle’s advice in relation to BAT’s document retention previously came under scrutiny in the McCabe v BAT case in Australia.
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 Australian 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 US has no intention of bringing criminal or civil proceedings against Foyle.
Lovells represented BAT, while 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.