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Unveiling the Hidden: The Power of Norwich Pharmacal Orders

Introduction to Norwich Pharmacal Orders

Ever wondered what steps you can take if you find yourself in a situation where someone else has caused harm to you or your business, but you have no idea who they are or how to find them? Enter the Norwich Pharmacal order, a legal remedy that can help you uncover the identities of those responsible and seek the justice you deserve.

In this article, we will delve into the definition, purpose, background, and criteria for obtaining Norwich Pharmacal orders, providing you with a comprehensive understanding of this powerful tool. Section 1: Definition and Purpose of Norwich Pharmacal Orders

1.1 Norwich Pharmacal Orders: Shedding Light on the Unknown

At its core, a Norwich Pharmacal order is a type of legal remedy that enables a person who has been wronged to identify and bring proceedings against those responsible for the wrongdoing.

This order not only helps in elucidating the names and details of the wrongdoers, but also provides the necessary evidence to support a claim and seek justice. 1.2 The Background and History of Norwich Pharmacal Orders

The term “Norwich Pharmacal order” finds its origin in a case that took place in the UK in 1974, known as the Norwich Pharmacal case.

In this case, a pharmaceutical company named Norwich Pharmacal sought an order from the court compelling the release of the names and addresses of unknown wrongdoers who had been infringing upon their patent rights. The Norwich Pharmacal case established the principle that a person who is “mixed up” in the wrongdoing, even if they are not directly responsible, can be required to disclose information to the victim.

This gave rise to the concept of a Norwich Pharmacal order, which has since been utilized in various legal jurisdictions worldwide. Section 2: Criteria for Obtaining a Norwich Pharmacal Order

2.1 Establishing a Valid Claim: The Plaintiff’s Requirements

To obtain a Norwich Pharmacal order, the plaintiff must establish that they have a valid and bona fide claim.

This means that the claim should be based on a genuine legal cause of action, and not for any malicious or frivolous reasons. 2.2 Factors Considered by the Court: Granting a Norwich Pharmacal Order

Aside from a valid claim, the court also takes into account several factors before granting a Norwich Pharmacal order.

These factors include:

– Involvement of Third-Party: The plaintiff must demonstrate that the person or entity they are seeking the order against has become involved in the wrongdoing and has the necessary information to reveal the identities of the wrongdoers. – Lack of Alternative Sources: It must be shown that there are no alternative sources from which the plaintiff can obtain the required information.

A Norwich Pharmacal order is considered a last resort, to be used when no other avenue is available. – Interest of Justice: The court considers whether it is in the interest of justice to grant the order.

This takes into account factors such as the seriousness of the wrongdoing, the potential harm caused, and the public interest in uncovering the truth. – Cost Indemnification: The plaintiff must provide an undertaking to the court that they will indemnify the respondent for any costs incurred as a result of complying with the order.

This ensures that the respondent is not unfairly burdened with expenses related to the disclosure of information.


In conclusion, Norwich Pharmacal orders serve as a vital legal tool for those who have been wronged and seek to seek justice by identifying those responsible. By shedding light on the unknown, these orders unveil the identities of wrongdoers and provide the necessary evidence to support a legal claim.

Understanding the definition, purpose, background, and criteria for obtaining Norwich Pharmacal orders is essential for anyone seeking this type of legal remedy. With this powerful knowledge in hand, individuals and businesses can navigate the legal landscape with confidence and hold those who have caused harm accountable for their actions.

Norwich Pharmacal Orders in Different Jurisdictions


Norwich Pharmacal Orders in Different Jurisdictions

The power and application of Norwich Pharmacal orders extend beyond the jurisdiction in which they originated.

Various countries have recognized the significance of these orders in uncovering wrongdoing and have adopted them into their legal systems. In this section, we will explore how Norwich Pharmacal orders operate in specific jurisdictions, namely Canada and Quebec.

3.1 Norwich Orders in Canada

In Canada, Norwich Pharmacal orders have been widely recognized and utilized by the courts. A landmark case that solidified the application of these orders in Canadian law is the Glaxo Wellcome case.

In this case, the court established the key criteria for granting a Norwich order, emphasizing the importance of a bona fide claim, involvement of a third party, and the lack of alternative sources of information. Furthermore, Norwich Pharmacal orders in Canada have also been pursued in the interest of tax investigations.

The Minister of National Revenue has the authority to issue a Norwich order to obtain information from third parties to aid in their investigations and enforcement actions. This allows the government to take action against tax evasion and ensure compliance with tax laws.

3.2 Norwich Orders in Quebec’s Civil Law

In Quebec, with its unique civil law tradition, Norwich Pharmacal orders are referred to as “just and equitable orders” or “orders in aid of proceedings.” A key case that established the framework for these orders in Quebec is the Fers et Mtaux Amricains case. This case confirmed that the power to issue just and equitable orders exists under Quebec’s civil law system.

The principles governing just and equitable orders in Quebec align with the criteria established in the Norwich Pharmacal case. The court must determine if the order is necessary, taking into consideration factors such as the seriousness of the wrongdoing and the availability of alternative sources of information.

This ensures that the order is proportionate, fair, and consistent with the principles of justice. 4.

Drafting a Norwich-Type Writ

Drafting a well-crafted Norwich-type writ is crucial to increase the chances of obtaining a Norwich Pharmacal order. This writ serves as the formal written request submitted to the court, outlining the details of the claim and the relief sought.

Here are some key points to consider when drafting a Norwich-type writ:

4.1 Key Points to Consider in Drafting a Norwich-Type Writ

– Disclosure of Evidence or Information: Clearly state in the writ the specific evidence or information that is being sought. This helps the court understand the purpose and allows the respondent to understand their obligations.

– Time Period: Specify the time period for which the information is sought. This enables the court to restrict the disclosure to a relevant timeframe and avoids overly broad requests.

– Confidentiality: Address the issue of confidentiality in the writ. Provide assurances that the disclosed information will be treated confidentially and used solely for the purpose of the legal proceedings.

– Third-Party Expert: If necessary, include a request for the court to appoint a third-party expert to evaluate and analyze the information obtained. This can help ensure the accuracy and reliability of the disclosed information.

– Relevancy: Clearly establish the relevance of the requested information to the claim being pursued. This demonstrates to the court that the information is necessary to unravel the wrongdoing and supports the legitimate interests of the plaintiff.

– Limited Use of Information: Include provisions in the writ that restrict the use of the disclosed information solely for the purpose of legal proceedings. This prevents the misuse or unauthorized dissemination of sensitive data.

– Compensation or Indemnity: Offer compensation or indemnity to the respondent in case they incur any costs or damages as a result of complying with the Norwich Pharmacal order. This demonstrates fairness and ensures that the respondent is not unreasonably burdened.

4.2 Importance of a Clear and Focused Writ

A clear and focused Norwich-type writ is crucial to increase the chances of obtaining a Norwich Pharmacal order. Courts are more likely to grant an order when the writ is well-crafted, concise, and to the point.

A clear and focused writ demonstrates the seriousness of the claim and the relevance of the information sought. It eliminates any confusion or ambiguity and presents a strong case to the court.

Courts also tend to be more inclined to grant Norwich orders when they perceive that the order is necessary and proportionate to the particular circumstances of the case. By presenting a well-structured writ, the plaintiff can effectively convey the urgency and importance of the information sought, ultimately leading to a greater likelihood of success.


The application and efficacy of Norwich Pharmacal orders extend beyond their origins. In Canada and Quebec, these orders have been recognized and incorporated into the legal systems, aiding in the pursuit of justice and the identification of wrongdoers.

By understanding the nuances of Norwich orders in different jurisdictions, individuals and businesses can navigate the legal landscape with greater confidence and seek the relief they deserve. Additionally, by drafting a well-crafted Norwich-type writ, plaintiffs can increase their chances of obtaining a Norwich Pharmacal order and unravel the mysteries surrounding their claims.

5. Application of Norwich Orders in Different Cases

Norwich Pharmacal orders have proven to be versatile remedies, applicable to a wide range of cases where the identity of wrongdoers needs to be uncovered.

In this section, we will explore examples of cases where Norwich orders can be used and discuss the potential combination of Norwich and Mareva orders for more powerful legal action. 5.1 Examples of Cases Where Norwich Orders Can Be Used

Norwich Pharmacal orders can be sought in various scenarios where the identity of the wrongdoer is unknown, but crucial to pursuing a legal claim.

Some common examples include:

– Patent Infringement: In cases of patent infringement, a company can seek a Norwich Pharmacal order to identify the individuals or entities responsible for unlawfully using their patented technology or design. – Intellectual Property Rights Infringement: Similar to patent infringement, Norwich orders can assist in cases involving copyright infringement, trademark infringement, or other violations of intellectual property rights.

– Tort: In cases of personal injury or property damage caused by an unknown party, a Norwich Pharmacal order can help reveal the responsible individuals or entities. – Defamation: When defamatory statements or content are published anonymously, a Norwich order can be sought to discover the identities of the defamers.

– Breach of Contract: If a party breaches a contract, but their identity is unknown, a Norwich Pharmacal order can be pursued to uncover the responsible party and seek appropriate remedies. – Criminal Offences: In certain criminal cases where the identity of the offender is unknown, a Norwich order can be used in conjunction with law enforcement agencies to unmask the perpetrator.

– Cyberbullying: In cases of online harassment or cyberbullying, Norwich orders can be sought to identify anonymous individuals behind harmful actions. – Fraud and Misappropriation of Assets: Norwich Pharmacal orders can be used to uncover the identities of individuals or entities involved in fraudulent activities or the misappropriation of assets.

5.2 Combining Norwich and Mareva Orders for More Powerful Legal Action

In certain cases where financial harm is incurred, combining a Norwich Pharmacal order with a Mareva order can provide a more powerful legal strategy. A Mareva order, also known as a freezing order, is an injunction that prevents a defendant from disposing of or dissipating their assets.

By combining these orders, a plaintiff can not only uncover the identities of the wrongdoers but also potentially freeze their assets, ensuring financial compensation if successful in their claim. This is particularly effective in cases involving fraud or misappropriation of assets, where the wrongdoers may attempt to hide or transfer funds.

6. Takeaways and


6.1 Summary of Norwich Pharmacal Orders and Their Exceptional Nature

Norwich Pharmacal orders are exceptional legal remedies that enable individuals and businesses to uncover the identities of wrongdoers and gather evidence to support their claims. These orders have proven to be crucial in various scenarios, ranging from intellectual property infringement to criminal offenses.

They provide a means of justice for those who have been wronged by unidentified parties, ensuring accountability and enabling appropriate legal action. 6.2 Importance of Consulting an Attorney to Understand Jurisdiction-Specific Guidelines

Given the unique nature of Norwich Pharmacal orders and their application in different jurisdictions, it is essential to consult with an experienced attorney.

Legal professionals can provide guidance on the specific guidelines and requirements for seeking Norwich orders in different jurisdictions, ensuring compliance with local laws and maximizing the chances of success. Attorneys can also assist in drafting the necessary documents, such as Norwich-type writs or supporting affidavits, to present a compelling case to the court.

In conclusion, Norwich Pharmacal orders serve as powerful legal tools in unveiling the identities of wrongdoers and seeking justice. From patent infringement to defamation cases, these orders have a broad range of applications, providing a means to pursue legal remedies when the responsible parties are unknown.

By combining Norwich and Mareva orders, plaintiffs can further enhance their legal actions, both in identifying the wrongdoers and potentially freezing their assets. Ultimately, consulting with an attorney is crucial to navigate the intricacies of Norwich orders and ensure the best possible outcome within the specific jurisdiction.

In conclusion, Norwich Pharmacal orders are powerful legal remedies that allow individuals and businesses to uncover the identities of wrongdoers and seek justice in various cases. From patent infringement to defamation and fraud, these orders play a crucial role in providing access to information and evidence that would otherwise remain hidden.

By understanding the criteria for obtaining Norwich orders, drafting focused and persuasive writs, and considering the potential combination with Mareva orders, plaintiffs can strategically navigate the legal landscape and increase their chances of success. Consulting with an attorney is key to understanding jurisdiction-specific guidelines and ensuring the best possible outcome.

Norwich Pharmacal orders offer an exceptional remedy for those seeking accountability in the face of wrongdoing, leaving a lasting impression of fairness, justice, and resolution.

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