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No ambiguity in relation to which documents are covered by category of discovery

By: James Cross BL

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High Court refuses application for further and better discovery, on the grounds that: there was no ambiguity in relation to which documents were covered by the category of discovery ordered; and there are no further documents to disclose as there are no further documents which deal with the investment strategy and which relate to the Divestment Decision.

Application for further and better discovery – pilots seek damages from the defendant arising from the defendant’s alleged failure to promptly sell €40 million worth of shares held in the Pilots’ pension scheme - approach of a court to interpreting a category of discovery agreed between parties to litigation where there is a dispute as to the breadth of the category in issue and in particular whether certain documents should be discovered - no ambiguity regarding the terms of the discovery order, the relevance and necessity of the documents to the dispute have no application to the question of whether the documents should have been discovered - interpretation of the terms of the court order for discovery – ordinary rules of interpretation - key issue in dispute is that the defendant alleges that the Pilots have failed to discover certain documents relating to the investment strategy for the Scheme - clear that a key defence for the defendant in this litigation is its claim that there was no need to divest the Pilots of its €40 million in equity holdings on or after 14th February, 2020 in a prompt manner, since the rationale for that disinvestment decision on that date (the “Divestment Decision”) was not to lock in equity gains, as claimed by the Pilots, because of the then short-term risk to markets, but rather to diversify asset allocation away from equities to reduce portfolio risk, as claimed by the defendant - interpretation of discovery ordered v. whether discovery should be ordered - not for this Court to decide whether, based on the pleadings or the letter seeking discovery, a certain category of documents is relevant and necessary and so should be discovered – whether order complied with - no ambiguity in relation to what documents are covered by this category of discovery - no further documents which deal with the investment strategy – application for further and better discovery refused -

Note: This is intended to be a fair and accurate report of a decision made public by a court of law. Any errors should be notified to the editor and will be dealt with accordingly.

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