Turner 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 Tribunal system. The defendants had begun procedures in Spain for conciliation. The claimant had obtained an injunction requiring them to discontinue the Spanish proceedings, saying they were merely intended to frustrate the claimant’s rights in English law. The defendants appealed to the House requesting a reference to the European Court of the question of whether an English Court had power to issue such an order.
Held: English courts had had such a power historically. The order is directed to the party not the foreign court. It was not a matter of jurisdiction. The Brussels Convention was intended to simplify such questions and avoid conflicts. The conflict here was only to be answered elsewhere. The question was referred on to the European Court of Justice.


Lord Nicholls of Birkenhead Lord Hoffmann Lord Hobhouse of Wood-borough Lord Millett Lord Scott of Foscote


[2002] ICR 94, Gazette 14-Feb-2002, [2001] UKHL 65, [2002] 1 WLR 107, [2002] 1 All ER 960 (Note), [2002] 1 All ER (Comm) 320 (Note), [2002] IRLR 358, [2002] ILPr 28, [2002] CLC 463


House of Lords, Bailii


Civil Jurisdiction and Judgments Act 1982


England and Wales


Appeal fromTurner v Grovit and others CA 28-May-1999
A court has an inherent power to injunct a party not to institute or continue proceedings abroad, where they appear intended purely to harass another party in proceedings here. The two actions here were based upon the ‘same contractual relationship’ . .
CitedGubisch Maschinenfabrik KG v Giulio Palumbo ECJ 8-Dec-1987
The claimant in Germany sought to enforce a contract by claiming the price of a delivered machine; the claimant in Italy asked for a declaration that no contract had been entered into or, if it had, that it had been discharged by repudiatory conduct . .
CitedOverseas 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 . .
CitedLord Portarlington v Soulby 10-Dec-1833
The court of appeal recognised its ability to restrain the commencement of proceedings in other courts and jurisdictions as to the same matter. The power was grounded not upon ‘any pretension to the exercise of judicial rights abroad’ but upon the . .
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 . .
CitedBritish Airways Board v Laker Airways Limited HL 1985
The plaintiffs tried to restrain the defendant from pursuing an action in the US courts claiming that the plaintiffs had acted together in an unlawful conspiracy to undermine the defendant’s business.
Held: The action in the US were unlawful . .
CitedFort Dodge Animal Health Ltd v Akzo Nobel Nv CA 27-Oct-1997
(Patents) ‘The United Kingdom courts have jurisdiction to prevent vexation and oppression by persons subject to their jurisdiction. In particular, the courts are entitled to prevent persons domiciled in this country from being submitted to vexatious . .
CitedCastanho v Brown and Root (UK) Ltd HL 1981
A claim was made for an anti-suit injunction.
Held: The court is reluctant to make orders which would be ineffective to achieve what they set out to do, but the fear that the defendant will not obey an injunction is not a bar to its grant. The . .
CitedAirbus 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 . .
CitedKongress Agentur Hagen GmbH v Zeehaghe BV ECJ 15-May-1990
Europa Where a defendant domiciled in a Contracting State is sued in a court of another Contracting State pursuant to Article 5(1) of the Brussels Convention of 27 September 1968 on jurisdiction and the . .
CitedSpiliada 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 . .
Referred toTurner v Grovit ECJ 27-Apr-2004
The claimant had been employed as a solicitor by the respondent at locations across Europe, and came to claim in England that they had wrongly implicated him in unlawful activity. The company sought to issue proceedings in Spain.
Held: The . .

Cited by:

CitedExter Shipping Ltd Stanley Shipping Ltd Wyndham Shipping Ltd Crest Shipping Ltd v Glencore International Ag CA 18-Apr-2002
There had been complex multi-party litigation in England. The appellants sought discharge from an anti-suit injunction restraining them from taking some issues to their home court, Georgia in the USA. They contended that the reasons which surrounded . .
CitedSabah Shipyard (Pakistan) Ltd v The Islamic Republic of Pakistan and Another CA 14-Nov-2002
An order was sought to restrain proceedings in Pakistan.
Held: The agreement provided that it should be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of England. The national state was also party to the agreement, and had waived sovereign immunity. It . .
CitedRoyal Bank of Canada v Cooperatieve Centrale Raiffeisen-Boerenleenbank Ba CA 23-Jan-2004
The claimant sought an order to restrain proceedings in New York. The parties were based in Canada and the Netherlands, with places of business in New York and London also. The swap agreement underlying the claim provide for it to be governed . .
Reference fromTurner v Grovit ECJ 27-Apr-2004
The claimant had been employed as a solicitor by the respondent at locations across Europe, and came to claim in England that they had wrongly implicated him in unlawful activity. The company sought to issue proceedings in Spain.
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. . .
CitedStarlight Shipping Company v Allianz Marine and Aviation Versicherungs Ag and Others (Alexandros T) ComC 19-Dec-2011
Starlight had sued its insurers for payment under policies with regard to the Alexandros T. After allegations of serious misconduct were made against some of the insurance underwiters, the matter was settled with full liabiity under the terms of a . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

International, Defamation

Updated: 31 January 2022; Ref: scu.167018