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Qatar Airways vs Airbus – Airbus loses bid to use French Blocking Statute

In the latest judgment from the High Court in the dispute between Qatar Airways and Airbus relating to premature surface degradation of a large number of Airbus A350s, the court rejected the attempt by Airbus to rely on the so called French Blocking Statute. Airbus argued that it should not give disclosure as ordered because to do so might expose Airbus and its executives to the risk of criminal prosecution in France. Mr Justice Waksman in a detailed judgment (read here) held that the supposed risk was no more than theoretical and that in any event the dispute concerned contracts that were expressly subject to English law and jurisdiction. The Airbus argument that the Court should substitute party to party disclosure with Court to Court disclosure under The Hague Convention was rejected not least because procedural matters were for the lex loci.