Charles Béar QC obtained extensive disclosure and the unusual step of vacating a trial date at short notice. Charles (leading a team including Harry Steinberg QC of 12KBW and Maria Roche of Doughty Street Chambers) is instructed by Leigh Day on behalf of 22 Peruvian mining protesters suing the former Xstrata plc and its Peruvian subsidiary (now part of the Glencore group) for serious injuries and maltreatment sustained from the Peruvian police in the course of demonstrations at the Tintaya mine in the Andes. The claimants allege that Xstrata orchestrated a brutal police response, were vicariously liable under Peruvian law having called them in and provided support, and/or breached a duty of care.
Mr Justice Foskett, judge in charge of the Queen’s Bench Division list, heard argument over 2 days about the sufficiency of Xstrata’s disclosure and after ordering further disclosure under a number of headings concluded that a fair trial could not be conducted until further stages in the disclosure process had been undergone. He made general observations about proportionality and multinationals, and the dangers of a perceived less than forthcoming approach to disclosure. The trial, listed for 3 weeks in June 2016, was adjourned at the application of the claimants and a new date is expected to be fixed at a further hearing later this year.
A full text of the judgment can be found here: https://www.lawtel.com/MyLawtel/FullText/AC0149586QBD.pdf