Metall und Rohstoff AG v Donaldson Lufkin and Jenrette Inc: CA 1990

There was a complicated commercial dispute involving allegations of conspiracy. A claim by the plaintiffs for inducing or procuring a breach of contract would have been statute-barred in New York.
Held: Slade LJ said: ‘The judge’s approach to the limitation point was further criticised by the defendants’ counsel on the grounds that, following the guidance given by Lord Goff in Spiliada relating to the treatment of a ‘legitimate personal or juridical advantage’ he should first have considered which was the appropriate forum without reference to the juridical advantage which M. and R. would enjoy by proceedings in England, and only if he decided that New York was prima facie the appropriate forum, should have gone on to consider whether, none the less, the limitation point rendered a trial in England necessary for the purpose of doing substantial justice between the parties. We think that the approach to this point suggested on behalf of the defendants is correct in principle and that at least on one reading of the judge’s judgment, he did not follow it, but took into account the juridical advantage point in his initial search for the appropriate forum.’
Slade LJ said: ‘Relief in tort under the principle of Grainger v Hill is not, in our judgment, available against a party who, however dishonestly, presents a false case for the purpose of advancing or sustaining his claim or defence in civil proceedings. This may well cause hardship to an injured party who cannot be sufficiently compensated by an appropriate order for costs. However, if there is a gap in the law it rests on sound considerations of public policy, as does the rule of law which gives immunity to witnesses against civil actions based on the falsity of evidence given in judicial proceedings. If the position were otherwise, honest litigants might be deterred from pursuing honest claims or defences and honest witnesses might be deterred from giving evidence.’


Slade LJ


[1990] 1 QB 391


England and Wales


Appeal fromMetall und Rohstoff AG v Donaldson Lufkin and Jenrette Inc and another QBD 29-Mar-1988
The plaintiff had suffered damage when given negligent advice. It obtained a judgment but the company became insolvent, and it now sought to sue the US parent company in conspiracy. The defendant said that to establish conspiracy it was necessary . .
CitedParker v Schuller CA 1901
The plaintiffs had obtained leave to serve a writ out of the jurisdiction under Order 11, r 1(e) of the RSC on the ground that the claim was for breach of a contract within the jurisdiction. The breach alleged was of a CIF contract, and the . .

Cited by:

CitedLewis and others v King CA 19-Oct-2004
The claimant sought damages for defamation for an article published on the Internet. The claimant Don King sued in London even though he lived in the US as did the defendants.
Held: A publication via the internet occurred when the material was . .
CitedTotal Network Sl v Revenue and Customs HL 12-Mar-2008
The House was asked whether an action for unlawful means conspiracy was available against a participant in a missing trader intra-community, or carousel, fraud. The company appealed a finding of liability saying that the VAT Act and Regulations . .
CitedLand Securities Plc and Others v Fladgate Fielder (A Firm) CA 18-Dec-2009
The claimants wanted planning permission to redevelop land. The defendant firm of solicitors, their tenants, had challenged the planning permission. The claimants alleged that that opposition was a tortious abuse because its true purpose was to . .
CitedNML Capital Ltd v Argentina SC 6-Jul-2011
The respondent had issued bonds but in 2001 had declared a moratorium on paying them. The appellant hedge fund later bought the bonds, heavily discounted. Judgment was obtained in New York, which the appellants now sought to enforce against assets . .
CitedStobart Group Ltd and Others v Elliott QBD 11-Apr-2013
The defendant applied to the court for various officers of the cliamant companies to be subject to contempt proceedings. The claimants asked the court to strike of the defendant’s counterclaim and to make a civil restraint order against him. There . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Jurisdiction, Torts – Other

Updated: 11 June 2022; Ref: scu.220029