Airbus Industrie G I E v Patel and Others: HL 2 Apr 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.


Lord Goff of Chieveley


Times 06-Apr-1998, Gazette 07-May-1998, [1998] UKHL 12, [1999] 1 AC 119, [1998] 2 All ER 257, [1998] 2 WLR 686


House of Lords, Bailii


England and Wales


Appeal fromAirbus Industrie Gie v Patel and Others CA 12-Aug-1996
The policy allowing restraint of foreign proceedings was not limited to protecting proceedings here. An injunction to restrain proceedings given here after a dismissal of a similar case in the US was proper. . .
CitedSociete Nationale Industrielle Aerospatiale v Lee Kui Jak, Yong Joon Kim and, Lee Kui Jak (F) PC 14-May-1987
Brunei Darussalam – The Board was asked where a civil claim should be tried.
Held: The court stated some principles governing the grant of anti-suit injunctions restraining foreign proceedings. The inconvenience of a forum is of itself not a . .
At first instanceAirbus Industrie Gie v Patel and Others QBD 21-May-1996
A court may grant an anti-suit injunction restricting proceedings but only very rarely. . .
ApprovedAMCHEM Products Incorporated v British Columbia (Workers’ Compensation Board) 24-Mar-1993
Supreme Court of Canada – Courts – Appropriate forum – Action commenced in U.S. courts – Plaintiffs largely resident in Canada – Most of corporate defendants with some connection with state where action brought – Anti-suit injunction sought in . .

Cited by:

CitedNational Westminster Bank v Utrecht-America Finance Company CA 10-May-2001
An agreement between the parties for assignment or novation of a credit agreement, contained a ‘take out’ agreement (‘TOA’). The defendant began proceedings in California to rescind the agreement, and the claimants obtained summary judgement under . .
CitedTurner v Grovit and others HL 13-Dec-2001
The applicant was a solicitor employed by a company in Belgium. He later resigned claiming unfair dismissal, saying he had been pressed to become involved in unlawful activities. The defendants sought to challenge the jurisdiction of the English . .
CitedAl-Bassam v Al-Bassam CA 1-Jul-2004
The claimant sought administration of her husband’s estate according to his domicile in England. The defendant claimed the estate under Islamic law, and that there had been no marriage, and that he had been domiciled in Saudi Arabia.
Held: The . .
CitedOT Africa Line Ltd v Magic Sportswear Corporation and others CA 13-Jun-2005
The parties to a contract had agreed that the proper law for the contract was England. One party commenced proceedings in Canada, and the courts of Canada had accepted jurisdiction as the most appropriate and convenient forum to resolve the dispute. . .
CitedAMT Futures Ltd v Marzillier and Others SC 1-Mar-2017
AMT entered into many financial services agreements providing for exclusive EW jurisdiction. It now sought to restrain the defendant German lawyers from encouraging litigation in Germany saying that induced breaches of the contracts. It also sought . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Leading Case

Updated: 03 February 2022; Ref: scu.77692