Melbourne, 12 April 2002: Mr David Fagan, Chief Executive Partner of Clayton Utz, has issued the following statement in response to today's media reports of possible enquiries resulting from the McCabe v BATAS case in the Victorian Supreme Court:
"Clayton Utz will co-operate with any enquiry by the Law Institutes or the ACCC.
"As previously indicated, on behalf of our client, we are seeking leave to appeal to the Victorian Court of Appeal. A Notice of Appeal was filed with the Supreme Court on Friday, 5 April.
"I wish to reiterate the following comments:
· Our firm did not advise Wills in relation to document management policies after 1992.
· Between 1991 and October 2001 (ie the commencement of the McCabe case) we have not represented BATAS or Wills in any tobacco litigation. The document disposal referred to in the judgment was in 1998. We had no role during this period.
· Our firm has never advised Wills or BATAS to dispose of prejudicial documents so that their production could be avoided in tobacco litigation.
· Our firm has not disposed of any documents of Wills or BATAS.
"Given the upcoming appeal and the possibility of an investigation, it is not appropriate for us to comment further on the detail of the judgment."