High Court Grants Norwich Pharmacal Relief Against Foreign Banks

Author:Mr Paul Friedman, Conrad Walker, Nicola Vinovrski, Danielle Rodgers, Anna Myrvang, Michael Clark and Emma Holmes
Profession:Clyde & Co

Credit Suisse Trust v Intesa Sanpaolo & Anor. High Court (Ch D), 6 March 2014:

The applicant, Credit Suisse Trust, applied for Norwich Pharmacal relief in two separate but connected actions against two Italian Banks; Banca Monte Dei Pasche Di Siena SPA (BMP) and Intesa San Paulo SPA (Intesa). Relief was sought in order to expose the assets of Mr Nemni, a former fiduciary agent of Credit Suisse. After a full trial in Guernsey, Mr Nemni was held to be in breach of his fiduciary duty by reason of dishonestly taking money from the trust. Nemni was ordered by the court to pay substantial sums and costs in respect of this breach.

In order to assist in the enforcement of the order, a worldwide freezing order was issued against Mr Nemni's assets and steps were taken to discover the identification and location of any bank accounts. An earlier application for Norwich Pharmacal Relief against Amex revealed two Italian banks that had been used by Mr Nemni. Credit Suisse initiated applications for Norwich Pharmacal relief against these banks in order to obtain information held by the bank regarding Mr Nemni's assets. While neither bank sought to contest the proceedings, both questioned whether information could be released by an Italian Bank, whose activities are governed by Italian law, under an order from an English court.

The position of BMP and Intesa with regards to the applications for relief was slightly different. In relation to BMP at least some of the information that Credit Suisse sought could be obtained by the London branch of the Bank from its Italian branches. However, Intesa raised the issue as to whether information could be obtained in England since the activities of the Bank were governed by Italian law, and thus any order would have to...

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