- Court of Appeal refuses injunction restraining use of document from without prejudice negotiations in US proceedings (Autostore v Ocado)
- What are the practical implications of this case?
- What was the background?
- What did the court decide?
- Case details
IP analysis: The Court of Appeal has decided against giving an injunction to restrain use of a document arising from legally privileged negotiations from being deployed in proceedings in the US. Although all relevant discussions and communications were meticulously labelled ‘without prejudice’, reference was made in settlement meetings to a US procedural rule which governed the admissibility of evidence in a federal court. The court held that the reference to the rule and its subject matter amounted to a qualification from the ‘blanket coverage’ of the without prejudice rule. The case offers guidance to lawyers conducting multi-jurisdictional settlements, particularly on setting the terms of negotiations, and how references to foreign law provisions can oust English law, irrespective of how consistently the ‘without prejudice’ label is used. Written by Sam Fisher, associate at CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP.
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