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Bank Mellat v Her Majestys Treasury: 'If you join the game you must play by the local rules’

Court of Appeal rules against anonymised disclosure in ‘massive and complex’ case - and that, in English litigation, English law holds the trump card.

A Court of Appeal ruling that an English court’s need for disclosure in litigation trumps the law of a foreign party’s home jurisdiction has attracted widespread attention in international dispute resolution circles. While the claim in Bank Mellat v Her Majesty’s Treasury (2019) has now been settled on confidential terms, the judgment has implications for claims involving large amounts of confidential financial data. The role of an expert witness is also scrutinised.'

The CoA ruling formed part what the appeal judges, led by Lord Justice Gross, described as 'massive and complex' litigation. It concerned a claim by a bank partly owned by the Iranian government for compensation for losses incurred following the imposition of sanctions under the Financial Restrictions (Iran) Order. In Bank Mellat v HM Treasury (No. 2) those sanctions were overturned by the Supreme Court in 2013.