Obtaining Information From Third Parties – Norwich Pharmacal Orders Explained

How Norwich Pharmacal Orders differ from normal disclosure applications

Norwich Pharmacal Orders differ from standard applications for pre action disclosure against third parties. The key difference is that under the Civil Procedure Rules the application is made where it is likely that the Respondent is going to be a party to the proceedings. Another key difference is that under the Civil Procedure Rules such an application can only relate to disclosure of documentation whereas under a Norwich Pharmacal Order, the application can also relate to the disclosure of information.

Why are Norwich Pharmacal Orders used?

Norwich Pharmacal Orders are commonly used in order to:

I) Identify wrongdoers. For example where a third party has become mixed up in the wrongful acts of others, they are then under a duty to assist the injured party to provide information which will help disclose the true identity of the wrongdoer. Examples of instances where these types of Orders can be very useful include applications against internet service providers and also applications against website hosting companies where content may contain defamatory material or infringe an Applicant’s copyright.

ii) To help identify the full nature of the wrongdoing.

Often it is the case that the Applicant already knows the nature of the wrongdoing when considering seeking injunctive relief by way of a Freezing Order, but in certain circumstances Norwich Pharmacal Orders can be used to help clarify the exact nature of that wrongdoing prior to any applications being made to Court for injunctive relief.

iii) To assist tracing assets and proprietary claims.

This is a common ground for the use of a Norwich Pharmacal Order as it is often the Applicant’s position that it urgently needs to obtain further information to help it trace stolen assets.

The leading case of Bankers Trust Company v. Shapira [1980] 1WLR1247 related to an application against a bank for disclosure of relevant financial information including accounts, correspondence, banking records and cheques. The Court held that “in circumstances where there was strong evidence that the applicant had been subject to fraud and deprived of monies as a result, then the rules of equity were that such an application should be granted”.

The Court of Appeal further held that the Courts would not hesitate in making strong Orders in circumstances where they helped prevent the disposal of assets by a Defendant which had been wrongfully or fraudulently obtained from the Applicant.

iv) For disclosure of the source of information contained in a publication

Whilst not particularly relevant for fraud cases, these types of applications can be made often against newspapers who have received documents in breach of confidence.

v) To enable an Applicant to plead its case.

If it is clear that the documents and/or information sought would allow an Applicant to properly assess the prospects of success of its claim and enable it to then fully plead the claim, then Courts are willing to grant a Norwich Pharmacal Order.

vi) To enable the victim of a wrongdoing to answer allegations made against him.

This deals with circumstances where a Defendant may benefit from the lack of information available to the Applicant. Such non-disclosure may prevent proceedings being brought or continued and may ultimately frustrate the grant or continuation of a Freezing Order. A third party Respondent is therefore required upon the grant of a Norwich Pharmacal Order to provide such information so as to prevent any facilitation of the Defendant’s case, where a wrongdoing exists.

vii) To enable a Defendant to obtain information

In exceptional circumstances, a Norwich Pharmacal Order can even be used by a Defendant in proceedings to obtain information which would enable him to answer the allegations against him. This is a very rare use of a Norwich Pharmacal Order.

viii) To aid execution of a judgement.

Again, whilst Courts have taken a restrictive approach in this particular area, the Court may consider an application by a judgement creditor for a Norwich Pharmacal Order to aid the execution of a judgement. This is only done where it can be shown that the judgement debtor is wilfully seeking to evade execution of the judgement.

Prerequisites of a Norwich Pharmacal Order

Before granting a Norwich Pharmacal Order NPO, the Court will need to be satisfied of the following:-

I) Evidence that the Respondent is involved in the wrongdoing.

a. There is much case law in this area as to what is meant by wrongdoing but as Lord Reid stated in the Norwich Pharmacal case itself, the Respondent cannot simply be an “innocent bystander”. There has to be some evidence that the Respondent (whether innocently or not) was mixed up in the wrongdoing.

b. An example of this is an application made against a telecommunications company for disclosure of the wrongdoers’ contact details in circumstances where it had not been possible to locate that particular individual.

c. It is even possible to apply for Norwich Pharmacal Orders against lawyers subject to issues of privilege. However, applications against entirely innocent lawyers are unlikely to be granted. Lawyers who, for example, who draft documentation which then enables the wrongdoer to facilitate a fraud could be held subject to an Norwich Pharmacal Order.

ii) The Defendant will not later be called as a witness – the “mere witness” rule

As a general rule, Norwich Pharmacal Orders are not available against individuals who may at a later stage may be called as a witness in the proceedings. This is known as the “mere witness” rule. There are exceptions for example where an Applicant cannot identify the wrongdoer without the information being provided by the party subject to the Norwich Pharmacal Order application.

iii) The interests of justice in making the Order

The Court will also consider the interests of justice when granting a Norwich Pharmacal Order. In so doing, it will balance the following factors when deciding whether to make an Order:

a. The likely consequence if the Order were refused.

b. Whether there are any alternative remedies available.

c. The potential advantages to the Applicant versus the potential harm to the Respondent.

d. The nature of the compliance and whether it is likely to be onerous.

4. Developing area of the law

Norwich Pharmacal Orders are a developing area of the law and there is recent authority (as or writing) for the fact that a Norwich Pharmacal Order could not be challenged on the basis that the information sought might be available from other sources.

This recent case also made it clear that each application before the Court is to be determined on the circumstances of that particular case, taking into account the size and resources of the

Applicant, the urgency of its needs to obtain the information and any public interests in having the Applicant’s needs satisfied.

Cross undertaking in damages

It is common in Norwich Pharmacal Orders that the Applicant provides an undertaking to pay the costs of the Respondent in the event that it may suffer loss as a result of complying with the Order. The Respondent cannot be liable for any legal or other costs arising from these separate proceedings, unless it was involved in the circumstances leading to the claim. As with Freezing Orders, the Applicant must demonstrate that it is in a financial position to meet any obligations which may arise in this respect.

Applying for a Norwich Pharmacal Orders

Much depends on whether the application is urgent or not.

If it is not urgent, then the first port of call is to write to the potential Respondent seeking voluntary disclosure of the information and setting out the reasons why it is sought. If the Respondent is unable or unwilling to comply then an application to Court might be the only way forward. However seeking the cooperation of a Respondent even in circumstances where it cannot provide the information (for example due to privacy) can still be a useful approach as that information can be put before the Court when asking for an Norwich Pharmacal Order.

Often, for privilege, data protection or other reasons, the Respondent will invite the Applicant to apply for a Norwich Pharmacal Order so that the Respondent can be relieved of its obligations to withhold such information. In such circumstances, as described above, the application should be relatively straightforward and the Applicant will have to provide for the Respondent’s costs in attending the proceedings and complying with the Norwich Pharmacal Order.

In terms of the procedure (both for urgent and non-urgent applications), an application must be supported by a detailed witness statement setting out the following:

1. The factual background arising to the application;

2. The nature of the claim sought by the Applicant;

3. The most likely cause of action against the wrongdoer;

4. Evidence that the mere witness rule will not be breached;

5. Evidence that the Respondent has been involved or mixed up in the wrongdoing (although not always necessary);

Specifying which documents or information is being sought and giving reasons for this;

Stating why the Respondent is believed to be in possession of the documents or information;

Stressing the Applicant’s intention to pursue the wrongdoer and not the Respondent.

If dishonesty is being alleged attention should be drawn to this.

That the application is in the interests of justice.

Any apparent basis on which the Respondent may seek to claim privilege against self-incrimination.

Any other relevant factors the Court may consider when exercising its discretion such as criminal activity etc.

Evidence in support of the undertaking in damages.

If the application is made without notice, then the need for urgency needs to be explained.

Gagging clauses

The terms of the Order the Applicant would like the Court to grant needs to be carefully drafted. Commonly, the Order also contains a gagging clause against the Respondent to stop them informing the Defendant that the application has been made. This is often because the Applicant does not want the Defendant being tipped off as it might be considering obtaining a Without Notice Freezing Order against it.


The Norwich Pharmacal Order, once granted, must be served on the Respondent and if it contains a gagging clause, this should be explained clearly to the Respondent at the time of service. The Norwich Pharmacal Order may also have a Penal Notice describing the criminal consequences of failing to adhere to the Norwich Pharmacal Order’s terms, including any gagging clause. Personal service is the ideal type of service as the gagging clause and Penal Notice can be clearly explained and it can make any consequential committal application against the Respondent (if the
Order is breached in any way) easier to secure.

Restrictions on use of documents obtained under a Norwich Pharmacal Order

Any documents and/or information obtained as a result of the Norwich Pharmacal Order could only be used for the purpose of the proceedings in which they have been disclosed. They could not be used for any other proceedings and/or released to any other party. The only exceptions to this are where the Court gives permission or consent is provided by the owners of the documents.

Costs of the application in terms of the costs of the application, as described above it is normal that the Applicant bear the

Respondent’s costs of the Norwich Pharmacal Order. This is something for the Applicant to bear in mind as a result of making an application for a Norwich Pharmacal Order.

Can a Norwich Pharmacal Order be challenged?

The answer is yes on the following basis:

1. The grounds set out above have not been met;

2. There are duties of confidentiality which the Court considers would not allow an Order to be made;

3. The release of the information may expose the Respondent to proceedings for a criminal offence and therefore, the Respondent invokes the right against self-incrimination.

It may be that the Respondent simply applies to Court for the grounds of the Norwich Pharmacal Order to be varied. This could be on the basis of reasonableness, proportionality and cost.

Furthermore, the Respondent may seek an extension of time to comply with the terms of the

Order, particularly if they are onerous.

Can Norwich Pharmacal Order’s assist foreign proceedings?

It is a developing area of the law as to whether Norwich Pharmacal Orders can be obtained in order to support foreign proceedings. Whilst formerly, Norwich Pharmacal Orders were not allowed to be used in such circumstances, the case law has developed insofar as the Courts will now consider applications against Respondents in support of foreign proceedings. Indeed, Norwich Pharmacal Orders can therefore be used to obtain documents that are subsequently used in proceedings in foreign jurisdictions.

Varying the Terms of a Freezing Order

Common grounds for seeking the variation of the terms of a Freezing Order include the following:

The Order is oppressive and the Respondent is unable to pay living, legal or business expenses.

A Respondent is always entitled to have sufficient money to pay reasonable living costs and legal or business expenses. It is common for a Respondent to seek an increase in the allowance given in the Order for either living expenses or legal costs.

Commonly, a sum of £500 a week is provided for in the terms of a Freezing Order in respect of living expenses. However, the Respondent will need to assess whether this amount is appropriate for his/her reasonable living expenses and whether or not an increase should be sought. In order to seek a variation of the living allowances figure, it will be necessary to show what the Respondent’s normal expenditure is, by reference to bank statements and / or facility / loan documents etc. Of course, there may be a number of reasons why a Respondent would not want an Applicant having access to such information.

However, it is not uncommon for the Respondent to have to provide full details of his/her financial position in accordance with the provision of information sections contained within the usual Freezing Order itself.

Furthermore, if the Freezing Order does not support a proprietary claim to the frozen assets (i.e. specifically targeting the assets – see our booklet titled “Freezing Orders – A Practical Guide” then the Court will normally allow a Respondent to use his assets for ordinary living expenses together with reasonable, legal and business expenses.

However, if the Applicant claims a proprietary right to the frozen assets (i.e. the Applicant claims the rights to a specific asset such as a house purchased with allegedly stolen money), the Court is unlikely to vary the terms of the Freezing Order unless the Respondent can show three things:

There are no other assets available at all;

He has a good defence to the claim / or a reasonable prospect of success; or He is entitled to the funds in question. It is always sensible to consider all issues relating to an application to vary the term of a Freezing Order at an early stage. The Courts generally do not like it if a Respondent returns to Court more than once to seek to vary the terms of a Freezing Order.

2. The maximum sum claimed by the Applicant is excessive

In all Freezing Orders, a Respondent’s assets are frozen up to a certain specified limit. This limit normally equates to the quantum of the losses which the Applicant says it has suffered as a result of the Respondent’s actions. However, it is open to a Respondent to apply to reduce the maximum sum if it can be shown that the Applicant has not given a realistic value of the claim, for example by not taking into account any counter claims that might be available to a Respondent.

Variation of any ancillary orders

When granting a Freezing Order, the Court will ordinarily consider making any additional orders that the Applicant may seek – these are commonly known as Ancillary Orders. Such Orders often relate to, for example, disclosure of documents and / or provision of information about assets, details of which must be provided to the Applicant sworn as true and correct in the form of an Affidavit. It is often the case that the deadlines in the Court Order are impossible to meet, due to the volume of documentation to be disclosed, the fact that it may relate to information held in different jurisdictions or, for example, that the documentation is in the possession, custody or control of third parties and may take some time to recover.

In such circumstances, a Respondent needs to explain why a particular deadline cannot be met and provide an alternate deadline within a reasonable time. Ideally, if it is open to a Respondent to do so, he should provide partial disclosure documentation whilst making every effort to comply with full disclosure by any agreed extended deadline.

A Respondent may also wish to vary the terms of the order on the basis that disclosure of documents or information will not be given on the grounds of privilege against self-incrimination. For more details regarding the privilege against self-incrimination, please see our booklet in this series dealing with this particular aspect.

Other common terms which Respondents seek to vary include:

(I) Varying the terms of a Passport Order;
(ii) Requiring the Respondents to deliver up his passport and to not leave jurisdiction;

The appointment of a Receiver which could cause damage to his existing business.

The procedure to vary the terms of a Freezing Order

If a Respondent wants to apply to vary a Freezing Order, this is done by way of the following:

Drafting an Application Notice.

Drafting a detailed Affidavit setting out specifically the grounds upon which the Respondent seeks to rely upon in terms of the proposed variation of the Freezing Order including the reasons for the proposed amended terms. The Application Notice will need to be issued at Court and a date will be provided to all parties by the Court at which the Application will be heard. It is important when considering the extent of the variation to consider the time estimate appropriate, as this will ensure that the Respondent obtains sufficient time at Court to have the variation application heard. Bearing in mind it is likely that the Applicant, when served with an application to vary the terms of a Freezing Order, may itself serve evidence in response and as such, sufficient time must be set aside by the Court to hear both of the parties’ representations.

As part of the Application, a Respondent will require the services of a Barrister/Counsel to represent it at the hearing and prior to the hearing. Counsel will prepare what is called a Skeleton Argument which will need to be filed at Court, commonly the day before the hearing.

The Applicant’s solicitors will need to select an appropriate barrister with the appropriate expertise, sufficient experience and who is able to work within the Applicant’s financial constraints. The solicitors will have to draft a comprehensive Brief/Instructions bringing the barrister up-to-speed on al background matters and providing copies of all statements made in the proceedings and any other documents which may be relevant to the barrister’s role. The barrister is generally referred to as “Counsel”.

A Skeleton Argument is a document prepared by Counsel setting out both the factual and legal aspects of the Application and it is provided for the benefit of the Judge hearing the Application to quickly get him/her up to speed with the documentation which has been served. It is vitally important that the Skeleton Argument is prepared properly, as a well prepared skeleton argument will be critical to the extent to which a Judge is brought fully up to speed prior to the application being heard.

Timings of the Application to Vary a Freezing Order

The Application is ordinarily made either:

Prior to the Return Date.

The Return Date is the date which the Court will set, following the granting of a Without Notice Freezing Order, at which both parties will re-attend Court. This is commonly 7-14 days after the granting of the Without Notice Freezing Order. If the Respondent has sufficient time to prepare a detailed Affidavit seeking to vary the terms of the Freezing Order between service on it of the original Freezing Order and the Return Date, then the Return Date is the sensible time to have any variation application heard.

If however, further time is needed after service of the Freezing Order, it is possible, by consent, for an extension of the Return Date to be agreed between parties to enable the Respondent to prepare the Affidavit evidence required as part of the variation application. This will also enable the parties to list the matter for sufficient time to have that application to vary heard at the Return Date.

After the Return Date

Alternatively, even after the Return Date, the Respondent can at any time make an application to vary the terms of a Freezing Order if any of the above grounds arise, for example if the Respondent is unable to pay living, legal or business expenses pursuant to the terms of the original Freezing Order.

If this matter cannot be dealt with by consent with the Applicant, then the Respondent is left with no choice but to make a formal application to Court to have the underlying Freezing Order amended.Other examples leading to an application to vary may include, where a Respondent is subject to a Freezing Order but is unclear as to whether a payment from a business account would for any reason be in breach of the terms of a Freezing Order.

On occasion, clarity is sought from the Courts on this particular point to avoid a Respondent being in breach of the Freezing Order accidentally and in potential contempt of Court. where the Respondents’ assets, for example his family home, are subject to the Freezing Order, but in order to afford or pay his legal representatives the Respondent either needs to sell his property and/or give a Charge in favour of his legal advisors over the property. A variation to the Freezing Order would therefore be required so that the Respondent does not fall foul of the requirements not to deal with or diminish his assets at Court under the terms of the Freezing Order.

Where the Respondent has been loaned money by a family member to pay legal expenses and the Respondent then needs to repay those loans (if substantiated) to the family member pursuant to the terms of the Loan Agreement from the assets which have been “frozen” by the Freezing Order. Again, unless this matter can be dealt with by consent, a formal application will need to be made to the Court for a variation of the underlying Freezing Order.

Other considerations to take in to account when varying a Freezing Order

If a Respondent wishes to set-aside a Freezing Order which has been obtained without notice, the right route is that he must apply to the Judge and not, for example, attempt to appeal to the Court of Appeal without having first been to the Court in the first instance.

The application must be made promptly if at all possible.

Financial Analyst: A Profitable Career Option for Finance Jobs!

In the current job market, the hottest job position that is more in demand is of financial analyst. A person who can meet the new expectations of the employers in the finance area will surely find more employment and professional growth opportunities.

Who is a financial analyst?

A financial analyst also known as a business analyst is a person who is involved in monitoring the financial movements of a company. The main task of an analyst is to evaluate a company’s financial risk and drafting financial forecasts. With the assistance of these analysts, companies can make well-informed financial decisions, develop cash flows, debt strategies and maintain their budgets.

Industries that demand financial analysts

There are several industries, which require a person for handling various finance related issues. Some of these industries include:

  • Accounting and Auditing services industry
  • Aerospace and Defense industry
  • Banking industry
  • Biotechnology/Pharmaceuticals industry
  • Business Services industry
  • Computer Software/Hardware industry
  • Construction industry
  • Consumer Packaged Goods industry
  • Education industry
  • Electronics, Components, and Semiconductor industry
  • Energy and Utility industry
  • Engineering Services industry
  • Financial Services industry

Financial Analyst Job Duties:

  • Evaluate an organization’s financial risk and prepare a report describing financial forecasts, financing options and capital management strategies
  • Assist in preparing a company’s budget
  • Determine cost of operations by collecting and analysing operational data
  • Identify the present financial status of the company by analysing and comparing actual results with plans
  • Establish various policies and procedures related to cost
  • Recommend various solutions to improve and manage financial status by monitoring and identifying financial trends
  • Maintain database by collecting, verifying and backing up data
  • Develop automated accounting applications with an aim to boost productivity
  • Keep financial information confidential
  • Work with company officials to gain a better insight into the company’s prospects and management?

Educational qualifications:

In order to get into this job position, one must have an undergraduate degree in finance, management, economics, statistics and administration. Having certifications and a graduate degree can notably enhance an applicant’s prospects. Furthermore, an internship during studies can be really fruitful in the long run.

Skills required:

Various skills required to become a successful analyst include:

  • Excellent communication skills including both verbal and written
  • Detailed understanding of companies
  • Superior analytical and organizational skills
  • Project management skills
  • Ability to create financial models
  • Ability to work independently and take sound decisions
  • Better understanding of financial and quantitative concepts
  • Must be able to manage multiple tasks, projects
  • Knowledge of computers and other latest technologies

Salary overview

In India, the average salary of a financial analyst is in between INR 3,00,00 to INR 4,00,00 per year. As the experience increases in this job position, the chances of higher income also increases. Furthermore, knowledge of various factors like risk management or control, valuation, SAS, SAP financial accounting, financial modeling, etc, can fetch you a smart salary.


A financial analyst job is definitely the most lucrative career choice, especially for those who are very good at analyzing financial concepts. An experience in this profile will provide you high income and other benefits. However, strong competition is expected for this job position. A deep understanding of the roles and skills and financial terms along with a relevant experience can boost your chances for getting the job.

5 Proven Strategies To Improve Patient Engagement and Revenue Cycle Efficiency

It is a strange paradox. As the healthcare industry transitions towards integrated, cost-effective business models, the revenue cycle of medical practices, has become more fragmented and expensive.

Payer reimbursement cuts, drastic increase in consumer payments and regulatory changes are challenging traditional, antiquated approaches to revenue cycle management. According to a survey by PwC, one in two, Americans, rate hospitals poorly, for affordability of services and price transparency.

To survive in the New Health Economy care providers should focus on patient care. But there are bills to be paid to keep the lights on! Fortunately, a healthy revenue cycle and good patient care needn’t be mutually exclusive terms any more. There are ways to build a strong and sustainable revenue cycle while still focusing on patient care. Here are five ways healthcare organizations can stay successful in the consumer directed healthcare environment.

5 ways you can drive up patient engagement and revenue cycle efficiency at your medical practice!

1. One in four claims are rejected due to insurance eligibility errors and incomplete information.

  • Discuss with your patients about insurance details, coverage limitations and treatment options prior to their appointment. Maintaining a friendly relationship with patients will enable you to collect accurate eligibility information.

St. Luke’s hospital was able to increase collections by placing calls to patients, prior to their visit, and discuss price estimates. This system has helped the hospital in educating patients about their financial responsibility and has increased net collections.

2. Improve the patient billing experience. Straight out of a can patient statements and sporadic follow-up calls won’t work. Financially engaging patients is vital in the post-reform climate. High deductible health plans are posing a huge challenge to care providers. Explain the patient billing process and payment options before care begins and simplify the transaction as much as possible.

  • Create patient statements that are unified. Translate complex codes into plain language
  • Add financial details outside the episode of care such as co-pays and deductibles
  • Discuss the financial responsibility of patients for high-value, pre-scheduled procedures.
  • Provide payment options according to the convenience of patients. Offer several payment options such as net banking, cheque, credit card or internet banking.
  • Offer different payment plans and educate patients on the same
  • Create a financial assistance policy and a collaborative process built around your patient needs

3. Tired of handling no-shows? According to MGMA, medical practices experience an annual no-show rate of 5-8%. At an average of $150 per appointment the amount of dollars lost, can add up to thousands every year.

  • Shoot a mail or talk to patients during their next appointment about how inconvenient no-shows are. Case in point.
  • A physician group, based in Minnesota was struggling with no-shows and appointment scheduling inefficiencies. A personal mail by the provider to patients, who didn’t turn up, did the trick. The physician group was able to decrease no-shows and increase patient volume significantly.
  • Sending remainder mails decrease non-attendance rates by as much as 36%, a study by the Internet Journal of Healthcare, states.
  • Some medical practices reward patients who show up on time and offer a small discounts as well. By giving out small rewards to patients, healthcare organizations can not only reduce the number of no-shows but also build a loyal patient base.

4. Do you know that the possibility of collecting payment drops to 40% once the patient leaves your practice? Physician practices collect just 60% of patient co-payments.

  • Train patient access staff to collect more at the front-desk. In the current environment medical practices cannot afford to be lax about patient financials.

A San Diego based healthcare provider installed 27 kiosks across its 11 clinics. The kiosks were put up to increase patient engagement. The surprise upshot of installing the kiosks was that an increasing number of patients started paying overdue bills. Following a similar strategy in your organization can not only boost patient engagement but also make sure you collect patient payments without much of an effort.

5. Human resources amount for 56% of a provider organization’s operational costs.

  • Reduce cost-to-collect and improve net collections by empowering patients. Patient self-management can be the answer to some of the most puzzling questions care providers face. Encourage patients to enter data into their own records, educate them on patient portals and help them devise a plan to handle their healthcare costs.

A 2012 survey states that 79% of respondents would like healthcare organizations to conduct patient interactions online or through mobile phones.

Small steps in the right direction can help physician practices, to develop an architecture that increases patient engagement and improves the efficiency of their revenue cycle.