Instance and Others v Denny Bros Printing Ltd and Others: ChD 3 Feb 2000

The dispute arose between parties to without prejudice communications or who had obtained documents from such persons and were commercially connected with them.
Held: An implied agreement would bind them as parties or by reason of the source of the documents in their hands. The without prejudice communications were governed by an implied agreement that they will not be used in the current or any subsequent litigation between the same or related parties. It was not appropriate to leave the issue to the foreign court to decide on admissibility, and an injunction was granted against their use. ‘The present dispute arises between persons who either were parties to the original communications or have obtained the documents from persons who were such parties, and, to the extent that it be relevant, are commercially and corporately connected with such parties. If there was an implied agreement the persons before me are either bound by it as parties or must be taken to be subject to it by reason of the source of the documents in their hands. In my judgment it is very strongly arguable, and indeed probable, that the without prejudice communications are indeed governed by an implied agreement that they will not be used in the current or any subsequent litigation between the same or related parties . . It is correct in my judgment to regard the protection as extending to subsequent litigation because otherwise on the one hand the public policy recognised by Lord Griffiths and other judges and on the other hand the expectation of the parties would not be fulfilled but rather would be subverted. The position may perhaps be different in practice between two parties who are brought together for example by the circumstances of a road accident and may never have anything else to do with each other, but the holders of patents in related areas, whether or not they are to be regarded as competitors, may well, through themselves or their licensees, come up against each other in a number of different commercial circumstances giving rise, not only among the litigation-prone, to several different disputes over time, such that it cannot be assumed that one piece of litigation is the last there will ever be.’

Mr Justice Lloyd
Gazette 03-Feb-2000, Times 28-Feb-2000, [2000] FSR 869
CitedBourns Inc v Raychem Corporation, Clifford Chance, Row and Maw, Latham and Watkins PatC 17-Oct-1998
Where a party sought disclosure of documents in support an application in a costs taxation, the payee could choose not to disclose, but if he did so the payer was bound by implied undertakings to use them only for the purposes of that application . .

Cited by:
CitedPrudential Insurance Company of America v Prudential Assurance Company Ltd CA 31-Jul-2003
The appellant sought to restrain the use in proceedings in New Zealand and elsewhere of ‘without prejudice’ documents discovered in court proceedings here.
Held: It was not sensible to elide the distinction between the two sources of . .
See AlsoDavid J Instance Ltd, David J Instance v Denny Bros Printing Ltd PatC 14-Apr-2000
. .
See AlsoDavid J Instance Ltd and Another v Denny Brothers Printing Ltd CA 20-Jun-2001
In a case where a patent was being challenged for obviousness, the judge was not necessarily obliged to follow the structured approach recommended in the Windsurfing International case. Here the judge had gone straight to the issue at the heart of . .
CitedOceanbulk Shipping and Trading Sa v TMT Asia Ltd CA 15-Feb-2010
The parties had settled their disagreement, but now disputed the interpretation of the settlement. The defendant sought to be allowed to give in evidence correspondence leading up to the settlement which had been conducted on a without prejudice . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Intellectual Property, Litigation Practice

Updated: 06 December 2021; Ref: scu.82377