VTB Capital Plc v Nutritek International Corp and Others: SC 6 Feb 2013

The claimant bank said that it had been induced to create very substantial lending facilities by fraudulent misrepresentation by the defendants. They now appealed against findings that England was not clearly or distinctly the appropriate forum for resolution of VTB’s tort claims, and nor that there was a proper basis for piercing the corporate veil.
Held: The appeal as to jurisdiction was dismissed (Clarke, Reed LL dissenting). The appeal as to piercing the corporate veil was dismissed unanimously. The limited burden on a defendant challenging jurisdiction is to identify the issues and how they might arise. It was wrong to approach such a decision as the equivalent to a trial. Permission to serve on a foreign resident should be refused unless the court felt it clear that England is the appropriate forum, but an appellate court should intervene only in the case of error.
The conclusion below that Russian law governed the case had been incorrect but had not affected the result. The choice of law was separate from and did not determine the choice of forum.
There was insufficient cause shown to pierce the corporate veil, and permission to amend to allow this argument should not be granted.

Judges:

Lord Neuberger, President, Lord Mance, Lord Clarke, Lord Wilson, Lord Reed

Citations:

UKSC 2012/0167, [2013] UKSC 5, [2013] WLR(D) 41, [2013] 1 All ER 1296, [2013] BCC 514, [2013] 1 CLC 153, [2013] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 466, [2013] 2 AC 337, [2013] 1 BCLC 179, [2013] 1 All ER (Comm) 1009, [2013] 2 WLR 398

Links:

Bailii, WLRD, Balii Summary, SC, SC Summ

Statutes:

Private International Law Act (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1995

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Citing:

At First InstanceVTB Capital Plc v Nutritek International Corp and Others ChD 29-Nov-2011
The appellant bank had granted very substantial lending facilities to the defendant companies, and now alleged fraudulent misrepresentation. The defendants now sought to have the service set aside. The claimants also sought permission to amend the . .
Appeal fromVTB Capital Plc v Nutritek International Corp and Others CA 20-Jun-2012
The claimant bank said that it had been induced to create very substantial lending facilities by fraudulent misrepresentation by the defendants. They now appealed against findings that England was not clearly or distinctly the appropriate forum for . .
CitedGilford Motor Co Ltd v Horne CA 1933
The defendant was the plaintiff’s former managing director. He was bound by a restrictive covenant after he left them. To avoid the covenant, he formed a company and sought to transact his business through it. At first instance, Farwell J had found . .
CitedBen Hashem v Ali Shayif and Another FD 22-Sep-2008
The court was asked to pierce the veil of incorporation of a company in the course of ancillary relief proceedings in a divorce. H had failed to co-operate with the court.
After a comprehensive review of all the authorities, Munby J said: ‘The . .
CitedAntonio Gramsci Shipping Corp and Others v Stepanovs ComC 25-Feb-2011
The claimant companies alleged that the defendants had used the claimant’s parent’s companies wrongfully to syphon off money from the claimants by interposing contract between the lcimants and their proper customers. In this action the claimant . .
CitedAntonio Gramsci Shipping Corp and Others v Recoletos Ltd and Others ComC 12-Jul-2012
The seventh defendant sought to be excused from the case denying the court’s jurisdiction. He had been a director. . .
CitedAlliance Bank JSC v Aquanta Corporation and Others ComC 14-Dec-2011
The defendants applied to have set aside the leave to serve proceedings on them out of the jurisdiction. . .
CitedSmith v Hughes QBD 1871
Blackburn J said: ‘I apprehend that if one of the parties intends to make a contract on one set of terms, and the other intends to make a contract on another set of terms, or, as it is sometimes expressed, if the parties are not ad idem, there is no . .
CitedSim v Robinow 1892
The task of the court in deciding jurisdiction is to identify the forum in which the case can be suitably tried for the interests of all the parties and for the ends of justice: . .
CitedCordoba Shipping Co Ltd v National State Bank, Elizabeth, New Jersey (The Albaforth) CA 1984
A negligent misrepresentation was made in a telex sent from the United States but received and acted upon in England. The judge had set aside leave to serve the document out of the jurisdiction.
Held: The appeal succeeded. The transmission was . .
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 . .
CitedWelsh Development Agency v Export Finance Co Ltd CA 1992
The court was asked whether a transaction relating to goods between an exporter and the defendant, as a financier, associated with sales by the exporter to third-party purchasers, amounted to a true sale by the exporter to the defendant or was . .
CitedMorin v Bonhams and Brooks Limited Bonhams and Brooks S A M CA 18-Dec-2003
The claimant had bought a vintage Ferrari motor car through the defendant auctioneers in Monaco but sought rescission after it appeared that the odometer had been altered. The auction conditions purported to exclude any description of the car. He . .
CitedLimit (No 3) Ltd and others v PDV Insurance Company CA 11-Apr-2005
There had been substantial oil leaks in Venezuela, which had been insured and then re-insured in London. Permission had been given to serve the defendant out of the jurisdiction, but that permission had been set aside. The claimant now appealed.
CitedSawyer v Atari Interactive Inc ChD 1-Nov-2005
The claimant owned the copyright in several successful computer games. He had granted licenses for the use of the software, which licences were assigned to the defendants. Disputes arose as to the calculation of royalty payments, and the claimant . .
CitedTrafigura Beheer Bv v Kookmin Bank Co ComC 16-Jun-2006
The defendant bank had given the claimant a letter of credit, but when the goods under transport were discharged without the bills of lading,and the buyers became insolvent, the bank refused to pay. There had been proceedings in Korea, but the . .
CitedKuzel v Roche Products Ltd CA 17-Apr-2008
The claimant had argued that she had been unfairly dismissed since her dismissal was founded in her making a protected disclosure. The ET had not accepted either her explanation or that of the employer.
Held: The employee’s appeal failed, and . .
CitedDouglas and others v Hello! Ltd and others; similar HL 2-May-2007
In Douglas, the claimants said that the defendants had interfered with their contract to provide exclusive photographs of their wedding to a competing magazine, by arranging for a third party to infiltrate and take and sell unauthorised photographs. . .
CitedIslamic Republic of Pakistan v Zardari and others ComC 6-Oct-2006
The claimant alleged that the defendants had funded the purchase of various properties by secret and unlawful commissions taken by them whilst in power in Pakistan. They sought to recover the proceeds. They now sought permission to serve proceedings . .
CitedSawyer v Atari Interactive Inc CA 2-Mar-2007
The claimant designed games software and complained of infringements by the defendant of licensing agreements by failing to allow audits as required.
Held: The defendant should be allowed to be heard on the standard practices for management of . .
CitedLimit (No 3) Ltd and others v PDV Insurance Company CA 11-Apr-2005
There had been substantial oil leaks in Venezuela, which had been insured and then re-insured in London. Permission had been given to serve the defendant out of the jurisdiction, but that permission had been set aside. The claimant now appealed.
CitedNovus Aviation Ltd v Onur Air Tasimacilik As CA 27-Feb-2009
The defendant appealed against a refusal to set aside the grant of leave to serve outside the jurisdiction granted to the claimant. Neither party conducted and business in England, and the contract was made in Switzerland, but was expressed to be . .
CitedMujur Bakat Sdn Bhd and Another v Uni Asia General Insurance Berhad and Others ComC 18-Mar-2011
Eder J said: ‘in considering whether or not England is the most appropriate forum, it is necessary to have in mind the overall shape of any trial and, in particular what are, or what are at least likely to be, the issues between the parties and . .
CitedSim v Robinow 1892
The task of the court in deciding jurisdiction is to identify the forum in which the case can be suitably tried for the interests of all the parties and for the ends of justice: . .
CitedDistiller’s Co (Biochemicals) Ltd v Thompson PC 19-Jan-1971
(Australia) There had been a negligent failure in New South Wales to warn a pregnant woman of the dangers of taking the drug thalidimide.
Held: When looking at jurisdiction to hear a complaint of a tort, the court should look to where in . .
CitedDiamond v Bank of London and Montreal Ltd CA 1979
Fraudulent and negligent misrepresentations were made by telephone and telex in Nassau to Mr Diamond in London. Donaldson J had held that the tort of fraudulent misrepresentation was committed in Nassau when the telexes were sent and from where the . .
CitedCordoba Shipping Co Ltd v National State Bank, Elizabeth, New Jersey (The Albaforth) CA 1984
A negligent misrepresentation was made in a telex sent from the United States but received and acted upon in England. The judge had set aside leave to serve the document out of the jurisdiction.
Held: The appeal succeeded. The transmission was . .
CitedRoerig v Valiant Trawlers Ltd CA 28-Jan-2002
The claimant who was Dutch, was a widow of a fisherman who had died at sea. The question on appeal was ‘in assessing damages for loss of dependency should benefits resulting from the loss be deducted from the damages?’ The claimant’s position under . .
CitedAl-Jedda v Secretary of State for Defence CA 29-Mar-2006
The applicant had dual Iraqi and British nationality. He was detained by British Forces in Iraq under suspicion of terrorism, and interned.
Held: His appeal failed. The UN resolution took priority over the European Convention on Human Rights . .
CitedAK Investment CJSC v Kyrgyz Mobil Tel Ltd and Others PC 10-Mar-2011
Developing Law – Summary Procedures Very Limited
(Isle of Man) (‘Altimo’) The parties were all based in Kyrgyzstan, but the claimant sought a remedy in the Isle of Man which would be unavailable in Kyrgyzstan.
Held: Lord Collins said: ‘The general rule is that it is not normally appropriate . .
CitedBerezovsky v Forbes Inc and Michaels; Glouchkov v Same HL 16-May-2000
Plaintiffs who lived in Russia sought damages for defamation against an American magazine with a small distribution in England. Both plaintiffs had real connections with and reputations in England. A judgment in Russia would do nothing to repair the . .

Cited by:

CitedPrest v Petrodel Resources Ltd and Others SC 12-Jun-2013
In the course of ancillary relief proceedings in a divorce, questions arose regarding company assets owned by the husband. The court was asked as to the power of the court to order the transfer of assets owned entirely in the company’s names. The . .
CitedOPO v MLA and Another CA 9-Oct-2014
The claimant child sought to prevent publication by his father of an autobiography which, he said, would be likely to cause him psychological harm. The father was well known classical musician who said that he had himself suffered sexual abuse as a . .
CitedFour Seasons Holdings Incorporated v Brownlie SC 19-Dec-2017
The claimant and her family were in a car crash while on holiday in Egypt. The claimant’s husband and his daughter died. The holiday had been booked in England and the car excursion booked in advance from England. The hotel operator was incorporated . .
CitedVedanta Resources Plc and Another v Lungowe and Others SC 10-Apr-2019
The claimants alleged negligence causing them personal injury and other losses arising from pollution from mining operations of the defendants in Zambia. The company denied jurisdiction. In the Court of Appeal the defendants’ appeals were dismissed. . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Torts – Other, Company, Jurisdiction

Leading Case

Updated: 30 January 2022; Ref: scu.470799