The parties disputed ownership of shares in the football club Dynamo Kiev. Claims were to be made under Ukrainian company law and in equity. The claimant (a company registered in Mauritius) sought to proceed here. The defendants (largely companies registered in the UK) said that the Ukraine was the proper jurisdiction.
Held: The court declined jurisdiction. The question of whether a party would receive a fair trial in a particular jurisdiction is peculiarly fact sensitive. Though there were grave doubts about the consistency of the Ukrainian courts, they were not sufficient to conclude that a fair trial was not possible. The dispute had no real connection with this country. The documents would be be Ukrainian and the witnesses would all have Ukrainian as their first language: ‘ the nature of dispute, the identity of the persons whose evidence will be material, the sensitivities involved (control of Ukraine’s most celebrated football club) and the very difficult legal issues that will have to be decided point overwhelmingly to Ukraine as the appropriate and indeed only natural forum fort the trial.’
The case of Owusu might still not allow a british court to decline jurisdiction in a case against the first defendant. However, that defendant was only a minor player in the action, and the tail should not be allowed to wag the dog.
 EWHC 1839 (Ch)
Council Regulation (EC) 44/2001 of 22 December 2000 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters
England and Wales
Cited – Spiliada Maritime Corporation v Cansulex Ltd, The Spiliada HL 1986
Forum Non Conveniens Restated
The House reviewed the authorities on the principle of forum non conveniens and restated how to apply the principle where the defendant seeks a stay of proceedings on the ground that there is another more appropriate forum.
Held: ‘In the . .
Cited – Owusu v Jackson ECJ 1-Mar-2005
ECJ Brussels Convention – Territorial scope of the Brussels Convention – Article 2 – Jurisdiction – Accident which occurred in a non – Contracting State – Personal injury – Action brought in a Contracting State . .
Cited – The Abidin Daver HL 1984
The House considered the application of the doctrine of forum conveniens.
Held: A stay of an English action on the ground of forum non conveniens could be resisted on the ground that justice could not be obtained in the otherwise more . .
Cited – Cherney v Deripaska ComC 3-Jul-2008
Renewed application for leave to serve proceedings out of jurisdiction. The court considered a submission that a fair trial would not be possible in Russia: ‘An English court will approach with considerable circumspection any contention that a . .
Cited – Connelly v RTZ Corporation Plc and others HL 24-Jul-1997
The availability of legal aid to a party is not part of criteria for choosing jurisdiction save in exceptional circumstances.
Lord Goff discussed the Spiliada case: ‘the burden of proof rests on the defendant to persuade the court to exercise . .
Cited – OJSC Oil Company Yugraneft v Abramovich and others ComC 29-Oct-2008
The claimants sought damages alleging a massive fraud by the defendants. The court considered whether the parties could receive a fair trial of the action in Russia.
Held: They could. Christopher Clarke J said: ‘Firstly, this case is in no way . .
Cited – Amin Rasheed Shipping Corp v Kuwait Insurance Co HL 1983
A claimant must show good reason why service on a foreign defendant should be permitted. This head of jurisdiction was an exorbitant jurisdiction, one which, under general English conflict rules, an English court would not recognise as possessed by . .
Cited – Dexter Ltd v Vlieland-Boddy CA 2003
The court discussed the significance of Johnson v Gore Wood.
Clarke LJ said: ‘The principles to be derived from the authorities, of which by far the most important is Johnson v Gore Wood and Co  2 AC 1, can be summarised as follows:
Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.361471