This blog is by John-Paul Swoboda of 12 King’s Bench Walk.
Chandler v Cape  EWCA Civ 525 was described in the Economist as “A little-noticed court case with big implications”. That was because it was the first time a parent company had successfully been sued for, as the Economist put it, the sins of their subsidiary. The prediction that there would be big implications appears, with the Lungowe case, to be coming to pass. The Lungowe case concerns 1,800 claimants, all of them Zambians alleging personal injury and property damage in Zambia whilst in the employment of a Zambian company (‘KCM’) due to an alleged toxic discharge from KCM’s mine into the water table. In other words, the Lungowe case concerns the export of huge group litigation, from a country with little access to justice, to the English Courts. The export of this group litigation was made possible, in this author’s opinion, by the Court of Appeal’s decision in Chandler and the European Court of Justice’s decision in Owusu v Jackson (Case C-281/02)  QB 801 which allows claimants to anchor jurisdiction in English courts where one of the proposed defendants is domiciled in England. In this case the first defendant or ‘Vedanta’ was the anchoring defendant and the parent company of KCM. Continue reading “Lungowe & Ors v Vedanta Resources Plc v Konkola Copper Mines Plc  EWCA Civ 1528: Anchoring defendants, and suing the parent for the sins of their subsidiaries”