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Mishcon de Reya featured twice in The Lawyer's Top 20 Cases for 2023

Posted on 16 January 2023

The Lawyer's Top 20 Cases for 2023 spotlights two significant arbitration and IP matters in which Mishcon de Reya is acting.

The first is The Federal Republic of Nigeria v Process & Industrial Developments, which will be heard in the Commercial Court beginning 16 January 2023.

Mishcon de Reya represents the Federal Republic of Nigeria (FRN) in its challenge of three arbitration awards obtained against it by a BVI shell company, Process & Industrial Developments Ltd (P&ID). The underlying arbitration concerned a large and complex gas processing contract that was awarded to P&ID by FRN in 2010. The contract was not performed and P&ID sued FRN for repudiatory breach in a London-seated arbitration. In its Final Award in January 2017, the Tribunal awarded P&ID damages of US$6.6 billion (with interest, now exceeding US $11 billion).

In a judgment in September 2020, Sir Ross Cranston granted FRN's request for an unprecedented extension of time to challenge the awards, finding that FRN had established a "strong prima facie case of fraud".

The case is notable also for the fact it touches on the developing area of fraud in arbitration and the extent to which a party who seeks to set aside an arbitral award needs to show that it could not "with reasonable diligence" have discovered the fraud against it sooner.

The second is Dr Reddy’s Laboratories and the NHS in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland v Warner-Lambert Company, which will be heard in the Patents Court beginning 6 November 2023.

Mishcon de Reya represents Dr Reddy's Laboratories in the first damages inquiry of its kind in the UK. It involves a follow-on-cross-undertaking damages claim against Warner-Lambert relating to its pregabalin second medical use patent (invalidated by the Supreme Court in 2018 on the grounds of insufficiency).

Dr Reddy's (and other generic manufacturers) launched generic pregabalin in the UK under a "skinny label" and/or a "full-label". Warner-Lambert sued for patent infringement and gave various cross-undertakings in damages (to the generics and the NHS) in return for measures including amendments to marketing authorisations, undertakings not to market, and NHS prescribing guidance. Dr Reddy's is seeking compensation for its losses under the cross-undertakings in damages and for unjustified threats.

This is the first example of the NHS pursuing a patentee for damages under cross-undertakings given in earlier patent infringement proceedings. It also makes the case the largest ever claim under a cross-undertaking in a patent action in the UK.

Read more on The Lawyer (subscription required).

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