Category Archives: Jurisdiction

Antec International Ltd -v- Biosafety USA Inc; QBD 27-Jan-2006

The defendant applied to set aside an order giving leave to serve abroad in a contractual claim where the contract contained a non-exclusive jurisdiction clause.
Held: summarised the effect of such a clause, as the law emerged from extensive citations of authority: ‘The fact that the parties have freely negotiated a contract providing for the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts and English law creates a strong prima facie case that the English jurisdiction is the correct one. In such circumstances it is appropriate to approach the matter as though the claimant has founded jurisdiction here as of right even though the clause is non exclusive . . The general rule is that the parties will be held to their contractual choice of English jurisdiction unless there are overwhelming or at least very strong reasons for departing from this rule . . It is not appropriate to embark upon a standard Spilliada balancing exercise [in those circumstances]. The defendant has to point to some factor which it could not have foreseen at the time the contract was concluded. Even if there is an unforeseeable factor or a party can point to some other reason which, in the interests of justice, points to another forum, this does not automatically lead to the conclusion that the court should exercise its jurisdiction to release a party from its contractual bargain; . . in particular the fact that the defendant has, or is about to institute proceedings in another jurisdiction not contemplated by the non-exclusive jurisdiction clause is not a strong or compelling reason to relieve the party from his bargain, notwithstanding the undesirability of parallel proceedings.’

Court: QBD
Date: 27-Jan-2006
Judges: Mrs Justice Gloster DBE
Links: Bailii,
References: [2006] EWHC 47 (Comm),

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AMT Futures Ltd -v- Marzillier, Dr Meier & Dr Guntner Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft Mbh; ComC 11-Apr-2014

Application by the Defendant for a declaration that the court does not have jurisdiction over it in respect of the subject matter of the claim and for an order setting aside service of the Claim Form.

Court: ComC
Date: 11-Apr-2014
Judges: Popplewell J
Links: Bailii,
References: [2014] EWHC 1085 (Comm),

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Raiffeisen Zentralbank Osterreich Aktiengesellschaft -v- National Bank of Greece Sa; QBD 25-Sep-1998

A term which had only been found to be implied into a contract could still prove to be central to its performance and so could be the deciding factor in a claim for jurisdiction under the Brussels Convention.

Court: QBD
Date: 25-Sep-1998
Statutes: Brussels Convention on Jurisdiction and the Enforcement of Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters 1968 Art 5
Links: Times,
References:

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Raiffeisen Zentralbank Osterreich Ag -v- Five Star General Trading Llc and Others; QBD 21-Jun-2000

A marine insurance policy governed by English law but made with French insurers was assigned, but notice of the assignment was not made according to French law through a bailiff. Nevertheless recovery under the policy was ordered. Under the Rome Convention the validity of the assignment was governed by the law which in turn governed the underlying asset.

Court: QBD
Date: 21-Jun-2000
Judges: Longmore J
Statutes: Contracts (Applicable Law) Act 1990 Sch 1
Links: Times, Gazette,
References: [2000] 2 Ll.R. 684,
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Hi Hotel Hcf SARL -v- Uwe Spoering; ECJ 3-Apr-2014

ECJ Judicial cooperation in civil matters – Regulation (EC) No 44/2001 – International jurisdiction in matters relating to tort, delict or quasi-delict – Act committed in one Member State consisting in participation in an act of tort or delict committed in another Member State – Determination of the place where the harmful event occurred

Court: ECJ
Date: 03-Apr-2014
Judges: L. Bay Larsen, P
Statutes: Regulation (EC) No 44/2001
Links: Bailii,
References: C-387/12, [2014] EUECJ C-387/12

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Twycross -v- Dreyfus; CA 1877

State immunity is not to be got around by suing the employees of the state. Here, the only possible case was against the state itself.
Sir George Jessel MR said: ‘the municipal law of this country does not enable the tribunals of this country to exercise any jurisdiction over foreign governments as such. Nor, so far as I am aware, is there any international tribunal which exercises any such jurisdiction. The result, therefore, is that these so-called bonds amount to nothing more than engagements of honour, binding, so far as engagements of honour can bind, the government which issues them, but are not contracts enforceable before the ordinary tribunals of any foreign government . . without the consent of the government of that country.’

Court: CA
Date: 01-Jan-1877
Judges: Sir George Jessel MR
References: (1877) LR 5 Ch D 605,
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Overseas Union Insurance Ltd and others -v- New Hampshire Insurance Company; ECJ 27-Jun-1991

ECJ Article 21 of the Convention of 27 September 1968 on Jurisdiction and the Enforcement of Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters must be interpreted as meaning that the rules applicable to lis alibi pendens set out therein must be applied irrespective of the domicile of the parties to the two sets of proceedings. Without prejudice to the case where the court second seised has exclusive jurisdiction under the Convention and in particular under Article 16 thereof, Article 21 of the Convention must be interpreted as meaning that, where the jurisdiction of the court first seised is contested, the court second seised may, if it does not decline jurisdiction, only stay the proceedings and may not itself examine the jurisdiction of the court first seised.

Court: ECJ
Date: 27-Jun-1991
Links: Bailii,
References: C-351/89, [1992] QB 434, [1991] EUECJ C-351/89
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Baltic Insurance Group -v- Jordan Grand Prix Limited and Others and Quay Financial Software Limited and Others (By Counter Claim and One Other Action); HL 20-May-1998

The Brussels Convention requires an insurance company to commence a claim against an insured in the country in which it operates. This applies also to non-convention countries, and a counterclaim may not add a new party from another jurisdiction.

Court: HL
Date: 20-May-1998
Statutes: Brussels Convention on Enforcement of Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters 1968
Links: Times, House of Lords, Bailii,
References: [1998] UKHL 49; [1999] 2 AC 127; [1999] 2 WLR 134; [1999] 1 All ER 289, [1999] 2 AC 127
Cases Cited:
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Airbus Industrie G I E -v- Patel and Others; HL 18-Mar-1999

An Indian Airlines Airbus A-320 crashed at Bangalore airport after an internal Indian flight. The plaintiff passengers lived in England. Proceedings began in Bangalore against the airline and the airport authority. The natural forum was the Bangalore court in India and there were proceedings on foot there. The Patels and other English passengers, however, having settled with the airline for its maximum liability, chose, in defiance of an order made by the Bangalore court, to sue the French manufacturers of the aircraft in Texas (which had no natural jurisdiction) on the basis of an American principle of no-fault liability, punitive damages and contingent fees. The Texas court had no principle of forum non conveniens and it was not an option for Airbus Industrie to apply to the Texas court to stay the proceedings there on that ground.
Held: The grant of an injunction, restraining parties from pursuing a remedy overseas, must be supported by clear evidence of a close connection with the UK jurisdiction. ‘ … the domestic court as a matter of comity must take cognisance of the fact that the foreign court has assumed jurisdiction. If, applying the principles relating to forum non conveniens … the foreign court could reasonably have concluded that there was no alternative forum that was clearly more appropriate, the domestic court should respect that decision and the application should be dismissed.’ and ‘the former [the power to stay] depends on its voluntary adoption by the state in question and the latter [the power to make a restraining order] is inhibited by respect for comity’. The passengers were not to be restrained from suing in Texas. There were no English proceedings (other than the application to the English court for the injunction), and nor did Airbus Industrie have any sufficient interest in asking the English court for a remedy.

Court: HL
Date: 18-Mar-1999
Judges: Lord Goff of Chievely
Links: Times, House of Lords, Gazette, Bailii,
References: [1998] UKHL 12, [1999] 1 AC 119, [1998] 2 All ER 257, [1998] 2 WLR 686
Cases Cited:
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Airbus Industrie G I E -v- Patel and Others; HL 18-Mar-1999

An Indian Airlines Airbus A-320 crashed at Bangalore airport after an internal Indian flight. The plaintiff passengers lived in England. Proceedings began in Bangalore against the airline and the airport authority. The natural forum was the Bangalore court in India and there were proceedings on foot there. The Patels and other English passengers, however, having settled with the airline for its maximum liability, chose, in defiance of an order made by the Bangalore court, to sue the French manufacturers of the aircraft in Texas (which had no natural jurisdiction) on the basis of an American principle of no-fault liability, punitive damages and contingent fees. The Texas court had no principle of forum non conveniens and it was not an option for Airbus Industrie to apply to the Texas court to stay the proceedings there on that ground.
Held: The grant of an injunction, restraining parties from pursuing a remedy overseas, must be supported by clear evidence of a close connection with the UK jurisdiction. ‘ … the domestic court as a matter of comity must take cognisance of the fact that the foreign court has assumed jurisdiction. If, applying the principles relating to forum non conveniens … the foreign court could reasonably have concluded that there was no alternative forum that was clearly more appropriate, the domestic court should respect that decision and the application should be dismissed.’ and ‘the former [the power to stay] depends on its voluntary adoption by the state in question and the latter [the power to make a restraining order] is inhibited by respect for comity’. The passengers were not to be restrained from suing in Texas. There were no English proceedings (other than the application to the English court for the injunction), and nor did Airbus Industrie have any sufficient interest in asking the English court for a remedy.

Court: HL
Date: 18-Mar-1999
Judges: Lord Goff of Chievely
Links: Times, House of Lords, Gazette, Bailii,
References: [1998] UKHL 12, [1999] 1 AC 119, [1998] 2 All ER 257, [1998] 2 WLR 686
Cases Cited:
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