Norwich Pharmacal Orders | Discovery and Tracing Orders

A Norwich Pharmacal order, also known as a Discovery and Tracing order, may be issued similarly to other interim orders “in all cases, in which it appears to the Court, just and convenient to do so” i.e. for the following purposes:

  • to identify the wrongdoers (for instance by lifting the corporate veil);
  • to discover and preserve any significant evidence that is relevant to the case;
  • to trace and preserve stolen assets.

Such orders can be issued against third parties (such as banks and/or other professionals) that have been innocently involved in wrongdoing. Any professional privilege existing between the third party and the Respondent will be waived and the former will be forced disclose the information and documents that are relevant to the case.

In addition to a Norwich Pharmacal order, a gagging order may be issued as well in order to prohibit the third party from notifying the Respondent on the Applicant’s legal steps.

For instance, in the context of such applications, Cyprus Courts may issue orders for disclosure of information and/or documents regarding stolen assets in order to assist the victims of fraud, to trace their assets, to identify the wrongdoer and to plead and prove their case.

If there are no alternative means of obtaining the necessary information, the discovery order can be issued against any person, either the said person is involved in the action or not.

Furthermore, it is essential to repeat that when this order is issued against banks and professionals, it cannot be blocked due to the banking secrecy or any other professional privilege.

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