No Brexit deal on civil jurisdiction

When we first started this blog what feels like aeons ago (but which, on checking, was in fact only in 2016), our very first posts formed a short series speculating on the possible impact of Brexit on civil litigation.

Assuming that the Draft EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement will in due course be approved by Parliament, (and barring the emergence of some as yet unknown side-deal on civil jurisdiction) there will be no more need to speculate.

This blog post summarises the position on jurisdiction and applicable law as we understand it for cross-border civil proceedings brought in England and Wales during and after the transition period.

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Pleading foreign law: the practicalities considered

A couple of weeks ago, we blogged on the first case applying the Brownlie approach to pleading foreign law. These decisions are now coming thick and fast. In this blog post, Sam Cuthbert considers recent developments in this context.

In Suppipaj & Ors v Narongdej & Ors [2020] EWHC 3191 (Comm), Butcher J gave a reserved judgment following a CMC in a case concerning an alleged fraudulent conspiracy. This decision is of particular interest because it considers what a claimant should do in practical terms when a defence raises specific foreign law provisions. It is this aspect of the decision that Sam deals with in this blog post.

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No lis pendens in relation to French injury “aggravation” claim

We start the week with a short blog post drawing attention to an interesting recent decision of Soole J in Tate v Allianz Iard SA [2020] EWHC 3227 (QB).

It deals with the position from a “lis pendens” perspective where a claimant, having been compensated for injuries in the courts of France, subsequently brings a claim for “aggravation” of those injuries in England and Wales.

A claim for “aggravation” in this context is similar to – but, crucially, not the same as – a follow-up claim for further damages after an award of provisional damages in English law.

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High Court on package travel litigation: “local standards” evidence not always necessary

In this blog post, Spencer Turner considers the case of TUI UK Limited v Lynn Morgan [2020] EWHC 9244 (Ch). The decision has significant implications for claims relating to package holidays.

In summary, Marcus Smith J considered that a Claimant was entitled to rely on a standard not applied in the locality as “a proxy for the local standards that were lacking in this case”. In particular:

where the local standards are unclear, the court is not going to require the claimant to incur and waste time and expense in seeking to prove that which is vague, nebulous or non-existent. In such a case, the claimant is perfectly entitled to have resort to other material in order to establish that the obligation to exercise reasonable skill and care has been breached.

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High Court applies Brownlie approach to pleading foreign law

In this blog post, Max Archer considers Qatar Airways Group QCSC v Middle East News FZ LLC [2020] EWHC 2975 (QB).

This was a claim for malicious falsehood (and other torts including conspiracy) brought by Qatar Airways against various media companies registered in the UAE, Dubai, and the United Kingdom. Saini J found that there was a good arguable case against the Defendants, serious issues to be tried, and that the case fell within three of the CPR’s jurisdictional gateways.

Of particular significance for readers of this blog is that this is apparently the first case engaging with the Court of Appeal’s ruling on pleading and proving foreign law in FS Cairo (Nile Plaza) LLC v Brownlie [2020] EWCA Civ 996. We considered the difficulties posed by the three apparently inconsistent judgments in that case in a separate post here.

In summary, the judge in Qatar Airways approved and applied Underhill LJ’s approach to the issue.

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