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TAGLaw Work Example

We assisted a US-based law firm with the production of documents from a company based in London and the deposition of a witness who was resident in the UK. The documents and testimony of the witness were to be obtained for the purpose of proceedings which were taking place in Pennsylvania. Our client was acting for the defendant in those proceedings.

Following the receipt of a Letter of Request for International Judicial Assistance Pursuant to the Hague Convention of 18 March 1970 on the Taking of Evidence Abroad in Civil or Commercial Matters from the Pennsylvanian Court in respect of each matter, we contacted the Foreign Process Section of the High Court of England & Wales and were assigned an Examiner of the Court for these matters. We then made two separate applications to the Foreign Process Section. The first was for an order for the production of documents by the London-based company to the Examiner and the second was for an order for the witness to attend a deposition held by the Examiner in London. Both applications were made without notice to the other parties.

The Foreign Process Section granted the orders within a week of the applications being made and we proceeded to serve the orders on the London company and the witness.

In respect of the order for the production of documents, we were subsequently contacted by lawyers acting on behalf of the London company, who wished to scale down the quantity of documentation requested. We advised our client as to the terms of the order granted and the scope for amending those terms. There was a procedure within the order permitting an application to be made by the London company to amend the order, the application having to be made within a certain time limit. While the lawyers acting on behalf of the London company negotiated the scope of documentation directly with our client, we responded to requests for extensions to the time limit specified in the order for making an application in accordance with the procedure under English law. Once agreement was reached, the documentation was provided to the Examiner and forwarded to the Foreign Process Section to send on to the Pennsylvania Court and our client.

In relation to the order for the witness to attend a deposition, we organised a suitable date and location in London and arranged for stenographers to record the examination and for video conferencing enabling both our client to ask the questions from the US and for the US lawyers acting for the claimant to observe. We also prepared a bundle of documents, which the witness was referred to during the course of the deposition. Following the conclusion of the examination, we arranged for corrections to be made to the transcript produced by the stenographers and sent the final version to the Examiner, the Foreign Process Section to send on to the Pennsylvania Court and our client.