HomeFWJ TakeawayResourcesHow to apply for a Norwich Pharmacal order

Norwich Pharmacal orders are a type of court order to compel a third party not directly involved in the freezing order proceedings to disclosure documentation or information. Our team can help obtain these orders.

Is there an urgent need for the order?

When looking to obtain a Norwich Pharmacal order, the applicant must first consider whether or not the matter is urgent.

If the matter is not urgent, then prior to seeking a Norwich Pharmacal order the applicant may 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 the applicant may seek to obtain a Norwich Pharmacal order by making an application to the court.

In some circumstances the respondent will invite the applicant to apply for a Norwich Pharmacal order so as the respondent can be relieved of its obligations to withhold such information due to privilege or data protection by way of example. In such circumstances, seeking a Norwich Pharmacal order 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.

Procedure for applying for a Norwich Pharmacal order

The procedure for obtaining a Norwich Pharmacal order involves a court application setting out

  • the factual background arising to the application;
  • the nature of the claim sought by the applicant;
  • the most likely cause of action against the wrongdoer;
  • evidence that the respondent has been involved or mixed up in the wrongdoing; and
  • specify which documents or information is being sought and providing reasons for this.

What will the court also consider before granting an order?

When considering whether or not to grant a Norwich Pharmacal order, the court will also require evidence as to why the respondent is believed to be in possession of the documents or information which forms the basis of the application.

The court will also consider whether it is in the interests of justice to grant a Norwich Pharmacal order.

As such, it is important that an application for a Norwich Pharmacal order is supported by a detailed witness statement. Any applicant seeking a Norwich Pharmacal order has an onerous duty to give full and frank disclosure of all material facts. In circumstances where an applicant is seeking a Norwich Pharmacal order on a without notice basis it is likely that the court will closely scrutinise the applicant’s disclosure of information.


Our team are highly experienced in dealing with Norwich Pharmacal orders. We are used to dealing with urgent court applications and are located near to the high court in London. Contact us today for expert advice.

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