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The High Court has granted permission for the European Medicines Agency to appeal against the dismissal of its claim that the lease to its former London headquarters will be frustrated by Brexit.

In a widely-reported ruling, Mr Justice Marcus Smith held on 20 Feb 19 that the EMA’s lease would not be frustrated by Brexit, since (i) the EMA would enjoy continued powers until 2039 to assign or sub-let the premises, (ii) even if would not enjoy those powers in EU law, that made no difference to the English law analysis, and (iii) any frustration would have been self-induced by the EMA in any event.  In a further decision on 1 Mar 19, Mr Justice Marcus Smith decided that the EMA should have permission to appeal against his decision to the Court of Appeal, holding that an appeal had a real prospect of success and that there was a compelling reason to grant permission, namely the importance of the case.

The full judgment of the High Court can be read online here.

Thomas de la Mare QC and James Segan acted for the European Medicines Agency, instructed by DLA Piper.