Soriano v Forensic News LLC & Ors  EWCA Civ 223 deals with the discipline an English court should hand out to defendants trying to use foreign proceedings and their discovery rules, to assist them in the defence of a claim (here a libel claim) in England and Wales. (Defendants’ attempt at dismissing jurisdiction had earlier failed).
In a joint and fairly succinct opinion, Voss MR, Carr LJ and Warby LJ dismiss the contention that the defendants should be served with an anti-suit injunction (also refused at first instance by Murray J a mere 20 days back; this was a most swift appeal) to restrain them from continuing US proceedings. These had been initiated in the District Court for the Southern District of New York (the DCSDNY) on 6 December 2022. Defendants seek an order there requiring HSBC USA to produce two very broad categories of banking documents relating to Mr Soriano’s companies. Defendants here, claimants in the US, rely in 28 USC §1782 (a so-called 1782 application) allowing a US court to provide assistance to an applicant in gathering evidence in support of legal proceedings in a foreign court. It provides that: “[t]he district court … may order [a person] to … produce a document or other thing for use in a proceeding in a foreign … tribunal”, and “[t]he order may be made … upon the application of any interested person”.
The Court of Appeal relied like the judge on the grounds per South Carolina Insurance Co v. Assurantie Maatschappij “De Zeven Provincien” NV  1 AC 24 to find that defendants were not guilty of “conduct which [was] oppressive or vexatious or which [interfered] with the due process of the court” in seeking the US order.
In essence, the Court supports the lawful exercise of evidence gathering and does not easily decide that use of foreign proceeding for same be considered oppressive.