On 2 July 2014, Mr Justice Blair handed down judgment in Mr Lebedev’s successful application to strike out privileged material contained within an application for an anti-suit injunction which had been brought against him by Viktor Vekselberg and Leonard Blavatnik.
The application brought into focus the current law on whether ‘opening shots’ in negotiations, aimed at avoiding commencing formal proceedings, are covered by without prejudice privilege. The arguments advanced by Enyo on behalf of Mr Lebedev were upheld by Mr Justice Blair - the result indicates that the Court will take a flexible approach when considering whether ‘opening shots’ in negotiations attract without prejudice privilege. The case also dealt with the relevance of foreign public policy arguments on admissibility, where the communication is made in the context of foreign litigation. Mr Justice Blair endorsed the arguments put forward by Enyo on behalf of Mr Lebedev that the admissibility of evidence in the English Courts will be determined by English law, as the law of the forum and, as such, arguments on foreign public policy are irrelevant.