Last week, we noted that service of documents abroad via the Foreign Process Section of the Royal Courts of Justice had been suspended. The implications of that decision are significant. Specifically, it may cause huge problems for service in cases involving EU-domiciled defendants. On one analysis, it will in some cases be impossible to serve. Continue reading “Coronavirus mini-series: (6) a big problem for service on EU-domiciled defendants”
Yesterday, Senior Master Fontaine issued guidance in relation to the work of the Foreign Process Section of the Queen’s Bench Division during the coronavirus pandemic.
- The FPS is unable to process tracked postal service requests. Service of judicial and extra-judicial documents is suspended.
- The processing of requests for service of court documents on parties out of the jurisdiction is also suspended.
- Parties can attempt service without the involvement of the FPS in compliance with the Service Regulation, the Hague Service Convention or any other relevant bi-lateral treaty.
- Service in a country which requires service through foreign governments, judicial authorities or British Consular authorities, which would normally be transmitted through the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, is suspended.
- Examinations of witnesses in respect of requests received from foreign courts are generally suspended.
- Requests for registration of foreign judgments are not being processed.
Regular readers of this blog will recall our article on the Supreme Court’s judgment in Four Seasons Holdings Incorporated v Brownlie  UKSC 80 (here).
In an order drawn up in July 2018, the Supreme Court directed that all consequential matters should be remitted to the High Court and that the Claimant had permission to issue certain applications. On 17 August 2018, the claimant duly issued three applications:
- For the correction or substitution of FS Cairo (Nile Plaza) LLC (“LLC”, an Egyptian company) in place of the existing Defendant, Four Seasons Holdings Incorporated (“Holdings”, a Canadian company).
- For permission to amend the Claim Form and Particulars of Claim.
- For permission to serve the Claim Form and Amended Particulars of Claim out of the jurisdiction on LLC in Egypt.
All three applications were recently granted by Nicol J in Brownlie v Four Seasons Holdings Inc  EWHC 2533 (QB). The lengthy decision contains some essential points for cross-border personal injuries practitioners. It deals with:
- Limitation and the doctrine of “relation back” in claims under Rome I and Rome II.
- The “presumption of equivalence” of foreign law with English law where no foreign law has been pleaded.
- Application of the majority of the Supreme Court’s (obiter) approach to “damage” in the context of CPR 6BPD 3.1(9)(a) (the tort gateway).
- Guidance on the approach to determining the forum conveniens post-Vedanta Resources plc v Lungowe  UKSC 20
Nina Ross and James Beeton consider the decision in this blog. Continue reading “Brownlie back in the High Court: Claimant allowed to serve on substitute defendant”
This blog by Philip Mead forms part of a series on the aftermath of the collapse of the package holiday provider Thomas Cook. A previous blog covers the rights of injured claimants to pursue a remedy where a purchase was made with a credit card. Philip assesses other possible avenues against alternative defendants. Continue reading “Thomas Cook mini-series – (2) Alternative avenues for claimants”
In this blog post, Kate Boakes of 12 King’s Bench Walk provides a fresh perspective on the implications of the Supreme Court’s decision in Four Seasons Holdings Incorporated v Brownlie  UKSC 80. The entire judgment, including in particular the Court’s lengthy obiter discussion of the functioning of the CPR’s jurisdictional gateways, is required reading for private international lawyers. Continue reading “Service out of the jurisdiction and ‘damage’ – our take on Four Seasons Holdings Incorporated v Brownlie”
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”
This blog post is by George White of 12 King’s Bench Walk.
This claim arose out of a claim in breach of contract against a foreign airline (‘D’). A fuller case commentary is available here. Continue reading “Noble Caledonia Limited v Air Niugini Limited  EWHC 1095 (QB) &  EWHC 1393 (QB) – Warsaw Convention, Service out of Jurisdiction”
This blog post is by Philip Mead of 12 King’s Bench Walk. The case concerned the Defendants’ applications to stay the Claimant’s claims or set aside the Claimant’s claims on the basis that the Court had no jurisdiction to hear them. The judgment contains a useful summary of the tests to be applied and applicable principles in the case law when seeking to challenge jurisdiction. Continue reading “Microsoft Mobile Oy (Ltd) v Sony Europe Ltd and others  EWHC 374 (Ch) – Service out of the Jurisdiction”
This blog is by Patrick Vincent of 12 King’s Bench Walk
This was a decision of Mrs Justice Andrews in a catastrophic personal injury claim.The point decided was whether to accede to one of the Defendants’ applications to set aside an order permitting service upon it out of the jurisdiction.
Superficially the point is a short one, but the detailed judgment deals with several important issues of law and procedure relevant to international claims, and particularly international person injury claims, including:-
- The duties on a party making a without notice application to serve out of the jurisdiction, or to extend time for service.
- The availability of the jurisdictional “gateways” set out in the Practice Direction 6BPD3.
- The proper characterisation of claims brought against foreign insurers.
This case comment is by Aliyah Akram of 12 King’s Bench Walk.
In this patents case the High Court gave detailed consideration to the service out of the jurisdiction gateways. Continue reading “FUJIFILM KYOWA KIRIN BIOLOGICS CO LTD v (1) ABBVIE BIOTECHNOLOGY LTD (2) ABBVIE LTD  EWHC 2204 (Pat); Jurisdiction gateways and service out of the jurisdiction”