Section 1782 of Title 28 of the United States Code (“Section 1782”) allows an “interested party” to a foreign proceeding (including foreign civil and criminal proceedings) to seek US-style discovery from a person or entity located in the United States. The statute may be used by international litigants seeking documentary or testimonial evidence in the US for use in foreign actions which are either pending or contemplated.
As the largest business litigation and arbitration firm in the world, Quinn Emanuel is uniquely positioned to assist litigants in proceedings outside the United States in either seeking or resisting applications for discovery in United States courts under Section 1782. Our global roster of litigators have successfully pursued, and opposed, Section 1782 discovery applications in a wide variety of disputes on behalf of both individual and corporate clients, and we count among our multi-national ranks a number of dual-qualified attorneys able to advise clients in both U.S. and non-U.S. jurisdictions, including the author of the first treatise focused exclusively on the law and practice of Section 1782. Indeed, Lucas Bento, a co-founder of our Section 1782 Practice, authored “The Globalization of Discovery: The Law and Practice under 28 U.S.C. § 1782” (Kluwer, 2019), which has since been authoritatively cited by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and U.S. federal courts.
- Pacific Investment Management Company, LLC and Anchorage Capital GroupLLC.
We represented Pacific Investment Management Company, LLC (“PIMCO”), a global investment management firm, and Anchorage Capital Group, LLC (“Anchorage Capital”), a New York-based registered investment adviser, in an action seeking discovery under Section 1782 from Banco Santander, S.A. (“Santander”) and certain affiliates in aid of proceedings in Spain and the Court of Justice of the European Union. On appeal from a district court order permitting discovery from a U.S.-based Santander affiliate, including discovery of documents located outside of the United States, we obtained an appellate decision in the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit resolving an unsettled question of law and ruling that there is no categorical bar to discovery under Section 1782 of materials located outside of the United States. This was a groundbreaking decision widely reported in the business and legal press.
- Iraq Telecom Limited
We successfully obtained an order from the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York granting a Section 1782 application on behalf of Iraq Telecom Limited (“IT”) seeking discovery from five third-party U.S. banks in aid of (i) litigation in the Dubai International Financial Center (“DIFC Litigation”); and (ii) foreign arbitrations administered by the International Chamber of Commerce and Lebanese Arbitration and Mediation Centre of the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture of Beirut and Mount-Lebanon (“Foreign Arbitrations”) (collectively, the “Foreign Proceedings”). Quinn Emanuel successfully defeated vigorous efforts by the defendants in the Foreign Proceedings to defeat, the Section 1782 Application, and after the application was granted, delay the proceedings and the provision of any discovery.
- Iraq Telecom Limited
We successfully obtained an order from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania granting a Section 1782 application on behalf of Iraq Telecom Limited (“IT”) seeking discovery from international law firm Dechert LLP in aid of (i) a pending arbitration administered by the International Chamber of Commerce; and (ii) a contemplated proceeding in the United Kingdom (collectively, the “Foreign Proceedings”). Dechert acted as counsel for the buyers in two UK real estate transactions which are relevant to Iraq Telecom’s claims of fraud and corruption in the Foreign Proceedings. Quinn Emanuel successfully obtained significant discovery in the Application.
- Fake News & Forgery.
We successfully represented a Silicon Valley businessman in obtaining discovery for use in contemplated civil and criminal proceedings in the United Kingdom resulting from the publication of a forged police report that damaged the businessman’s reputation and character.
- Arempa International Ltd. FZC.
We represented Arempa International Ltd. FZC (“Arempa”), a Dubai-based distributor and provider of security equipment, solutions and applications, in a Section 1782 action seeking discovery from Wells Fargo Bank N.A. (“Wells Fargo”) and Tucows Inc. (“Tucows”), a Canadian-based telecommunication company, in connection with a multimillion-dollar cyber fraud. In aid of multiple criminal investigations outside of the United States in Dubai and Hong Kong as well as contemplated civil proceedings in the United Kingdom, we successfully filed a Section 1782 request for discovery from Wells Fargo and Tucows in Florida and Pennsylvania and obtained critical discovery in record time.
We represented Gyptec S.A. (“Gyptec”), the largest Colombian manufacturer of construction materials, in a dispute with one of its shareholders, who is a U.S. resident. The dispute lasted close to a decade, with claims in Colombia and Panama, and involved the shareholder’s claim that he owns one-third of Gyptec. In aid of multiple proceedings outside the United States (e.g., Colombia and Peru), we successfully filed a Section 1782 request for discovery from the shareholder in the United States and obtained the discovery.
- The Broad Institute.
We represented The Broad Institute, a biomedical and genomic research center located in Massachusetts, in an appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, which sought to reverse the district court’s denial of a petition for discovery for use in opposition proceedings in the European Patent Office (“EPO”), the executive organ of the European Patent Organization that assesses and grants or denies European patent applications. Intellia Therapeutics Inc. (“Intellia”), a biotechnology company headquartered in Massachusetts, sought revocation of four of the Broad Institute’s European patents pertaining to CRISPR Cas9 DNA editing tools. CRISPR is a revolutionary genome-editing tool that holds great promise for curing genetic diseases and cancers. While opposition proceedings were pending in the EPO, Intellia filed a petition for discovery under Section 1782 in the District of Massachusetts. We defeated Intellia’s petition in the district court by demonstrating that the requested discovery was irrelevant to the EPO proceedings. In a decision published on June 20, 2018, that addressed the standard for relevancy under Section 1782, the First Circuit agreed that the discovery sought was irrelevant and affirmed the district court’s decision in full.
- Banca Pueyo SA.
We currently represent a fund consortium, including Attestor Capital LLP, Banca Pueyo S.A., Banco BIC Português S.A., Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria S.A. BlackRock, Inc., Carlson Capital, L.P., Centerbridge Partners Europe, LLP, CQS (UK) LLP1, DNCA Finance, Pacific Investment Management Company LLC, River Birch Capital LLC, TwentyFour Asset Management LLP, VR-Bank Rhein-Sieg eG, Weiss Multi-Strategy Advisers LLC, and York Capital Management Global Advisors, LLC, in a dispute with the Bank of Portugal, among others, in connection with proceedings related to the multibillion-dollar acquisition of Portugal’s second largest bank, Banco Espirito Santo. In aid of proceedings outside of the United States (e.g., Portugal), we successfully filed a Section 1782 request for discovery from Lone Star Fund IX (U.S.), L.P., Hudson Advisors L.P., and Lone Star Global Acquisitions, LLC in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas. The court granted our ex parte application and respondents moved to quash. The court denied in large part the motion quash, thereby allowing discovery to proceed.
- Belleville Management.
We currently represent Belleville Management, a family office of a Russian oligarch, in a complex, high-stakes dispute against Credit Suisse Group AG (“Credit Suisse”). We brought civil claims against Credit Suisse in Switzerland, and in parallel, obtained significant Section 1782 discovery from Credit Suisse affiliates in the United States. The Swiss claims are based on a breach of duties by the bank in connection with huge losses suffered by several ultra-high-net-worth individuals that were in part caused by a fraud perpetrated by a Credit Suisse relationship manager.
We represented Eldorado Brasil Celulose S.A. (“Eldorado”), a Brazilian paper and pulp manufacturer, in three pending proceedings in New York, Minnesota, and Connecticut brought by CA Investment (Brazil) S.A. (“CA”) seeking discovery pursuant to Section 1782 in aid of foreign proceedings in Singapore, Brazil, and Austria. The claims in the foreign proceedings were based on breaches of a share purchase agreement and purported misrepresentations in a subsequent bond issuance. CA sought discovery from Eldorado USA, Inc., a subsidiary of Eldorado, and several third parties. Eldorado filed a motion to vacate and quash the subpoenas and CA subsequently withdrew its applications with prejudice.
- BPTP Ltd., et al.
We successfully defeated two Section 1782 petitions for discovery filed by Harbour Victoria Investment Holdings Ltd. (“Harbour Victoria”), a subsidiary of JPMorgan Chase & Co. As background, Harbor Victoria obtained a favorable award from an arbitration in England and then commenced proceedings in India and New York to confirm and enforce the English arbitral award in both locations. As part of the U.S. confirmation proceeding, Harbour Victoria sought specific discovery and the court denied its request. Soon thereafter, Harbour Victoria tried to seek the very same discovery in a different U.S. court with Section 1782 petitions in aid of foreign proceedings (i.e., the Indian confirmation proceeding and other contemplated proceedings in Singapore and the United Kingdom). The court denied its petitions finding that Harbour Victoria was attempting to circumvent the adverse discovery ruling in the parallel U.S. proceeding.
- Mining and Former President of Bolivia
We were counsel to a U.S. investor and his Bolivian mining company in Section 1782 discovery applications in the Southern District of New York and the Eastern District of Virginia to obtain discovery for a pending arbitration against the Republic of Bolivia. We successfully opposed motion to quash and obtained order for documents and deposition of a former President of Bolivia residing in Virginia. We also successfully obtained thousands of confidential documents from a globally renowned law firm for a transaction that occurred 15 years earlier and that involved the sale of mining companies owned by the former President of Bolivia.
- Salt Mobile
We successfully represented Salt Mobile S.A. in a Section 1782 discovery application in the District of Colorado to obtain discovery from Liberty Global Inc. and its CEO for use in contemplated civil proceedings in Switzerland against Sunrise Communications AG (“Sunrise”) concerning the breach of an exclusivity agreement. We successfully obtained an order allowing our client to obtain documents, communications, and testimony related to negotiations that took place relating to the agreement.
- MBDA France
We represented MBDA France (a French defense company) and Soitec SA (a French semiconductor company) in intervening in a 1782 proceeding in which Swiss investment bank Aldini AG sought discovery for use in its long-running dispute with MBDA and Soitec in French court. The magistrate judge originally granted Aldini’s motion, but we successfully intervened and the magistrate judge granted our motion to vacate and quash the subpoena. The district judge affirmed.
- International Strategy
We represented a prominent Brazilian businessman in a dispute against a major U.S. healthcare company over breaches of a Share Purchase Agreement subject to an ICC arbitration clause. We were able to help our client successfully leverage discovery pursuant to Section 1782 as part of an overall international litigation and arbitration strategy.
- We represented a prominent French businessman in a dispute related to his departure from the company he founded. We assisted the client by obtaining an order pursuant to Section 1782 authorizing deposition discovery from the head of investment banking of a large multinational investment bank for use in French proceedings.
- We successfully quashed deposition subpoenas obtained under Section 1782 in connection with a $80,000,000 asset financing dispute in Norway.
- We represented a prominent Peruvian businessman and his daughters in a dispute related to a criminal investigation instigated by an estranged family member in Peru. We successfully opposed two parallel Section 1782 applications in New York and Florida federal courts – after five other US law firms told the client that there was no point in doing so – successfully compelling our adversary to voluntarily dismiss them with prejudice.
In addition to Section 1782, our firm also has deep experience in a variety of other international discovery tools, including letters rogatory and requests under the Hague Convention on the Taking of Evidence. Our global presence enables us to craft and execute cross-border discovery strategies to achieve our clients’ objectives.
If you would like to discuss ways in which Section 1782 or other cross-border discovery tools can assist or impact your case, please do not hesitate to reach out to:
Co-Chair, Section 1782 Practice
Co-Chair, Section 1782 Practice