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M&C in the news: UPC: ‘A missed opportunity’ as intervention bids in key disclosure case are thrown out

In a pivotal transparency test case, the UPC Court of Appeal has recently delivered a nuanced interpretation of the law, narrowly shaping the parameters of legal intervention. Notably, the court dismissed interventions from two law firms, citing stringent adherence to "legal interest" rules. This ruling establishes a formidable threshold for external involvement in UPC cases, signaling a discernible shift in the landscape of legal proceedings. As the legal community grapples with these developments, concerns regarding transparency linger, amplifying anticipation for the definitive decision slated to be unveiled in the spring of 2024. 

Thanks as ever to leading IP publication World IP Review for inviting us to join the debate. See the full piece, including comments from partner, Mike Gilbert, below. 

“Indeed, these rules, as now interpreted by the UPC Court of Appeal, are not dissimilar to the requirements in the UK to add a party (an intervener) to national proceedings, “Applications to intervene have failed in the UK in the past when applications have been made purely to enable the intervener to make pleas in law in other proceedings rather than having any actual and direct interest in the outcome of the proceedings in which they are seeking to intervene. “It is likely that the real dispute about transparency and access to documents (as opposed to a satellite dispute about intervention) will arise now either in the context of the Ocado proceedings themselves, or in the Munich and Dutch court proceedings. ”


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