Neste Chemicals SA and Others v DK Line Sa and Another (“The Sargasso”): CA 4 Apr 1994

An English Court becomes seised of a case on the service of the writ. Steyn LJ: ‘the general thrust of the Dresser UK Ltd case is not only binding on us but . . . is correct’. There were no ‘exceptions to the rule that date of service marks the time when the English court becomes definitively seised of proceedings’. The ECJ in the Zelger case had ’emphasise[d] the importance of certainty in national procedural laws’, and that ‘a ‘date of service’ rule would be readily comprehensible not only in England but also in other Contracting States.’
Steyn LJ, Peter Gibson LJ and Sir Tasker Watkins
Times 04-Apr-1994, [1994] 3 All ER 180
Brussels Convention on Jurisdiction and the Enforcement of Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters
England and Wales
ConsideredDresser UK v Falcongate Freight Management Ltd; The Duke of Yare CA 1992
In England the court was first seised of a matter at the point when the proceedings were served, not when they were issued. Article 21 was metaphorically described as a ‘tie-break rule’ which operates on the basis of strict chronological . .
CitedSiegfried Zelger v Sebastiano Salinitri ECJ 7-Jun-1984
Article 21 of the Convention of 28 September 1968 must be interpreted as meaning that the court ‘first seised’ is the one before which the requirements for proceedings to become definitively pending are first fulfilled, such requirements to be . .

Cited by:
CitedNussberger and Another v Phillips and Another (No 4) CA 19-May-2006
A claim was issued in London in December 2004, and then served in part in Switzerland in January 2005. One copy was removed from the bundle by a Swiss official, seeing that it had been marked ‘Nor for service out of the jurisdiction.’ That marking . .
CitedCanada Trust Co and Others v Stolzenberg and Others (No 2) HL 12-Oct-2000
The plaintiffs alleged the involvement of the defendant in a conspiracy to defraud. He had been domiciled in England, but had moved to Germany. He denied that the UK court had jurisdiction. The court of appeal said that jurisdiction was determined . .
CitedPhillips and Another v Symes and others HL 23-Jan-2008
Various parties had sought relief in the English courts and in Switzerland after an alleged fraud. There had been a mistake in service of the proceedings in England. The high court had dispensed with service an backdated the effect of the order to . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 09 April 2021; Ref: scu.84257