Jurisdiction and foreign hotels post-Keefe

This blog post is by Spencer Turner of 12 King’s Bench Walk.

In Lackey v Mallorca Mega Resorts and Anor [2019] EWHC 1028 (QB), Master Davison held that the Claimant, who had been paralysed as a result of an accident at a holiday resort, could sue a Spanish hotel and its insurer in England.

There are three points of interest arising from this case:

  1. A party making an application to contest the jurisdiction later than 14 days post-acknowledgment of service must apply for relief from sanctions.
  2. Notwithstanding the Supreme Court’s decision to refer three questions to the CJEU in Hoteles Pinero Canarias SL v Keefe (Case C-491/17), this case suggests that the lower courts may be inclined to follow the Court of Appeal ([2015] EWCA Civ 598) in permitting the joinder of a foreign hotel to a direct claim against its insurer without re-referring those questions.
  3. However, Master Davison’s willingness to follow Keefe may also be explained by the availability of an alternative route to jurisdiction on the basis that the claimant was also suing as a “consumer” for the purposes of arts. 17 and 18 of the Recast Brussels Regulation. To qualify as a consumer, it was not necessary for the Claimant to be the member of her travelling party who had actually made the booking.

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