DSG International Sourcing Ltd v Universal Media Corporation (Slovakia) SRO [2011] EWHC 1116 (Comm)

The Respondent had brought a claim against the Applicant Slovakian company for damages for breach of a supply contract between the parties. The claim was served on the Applicant out of the jurisdiction under CPR 6.33(2), and the Applicant subsequently challenged the jurisdiction of the English court.

The Respondent argued that certain of the goods were supplied under an umbrella agreement which contained an exclusive English jurisdiction clause, and that the other goods were supplied under a second umbrella agreement containing a non-exclusive jurisdiction clause. The Applicant denied the existence of the umbrella agreements, and asserted that the supplies were made under various purchase orders which referred to different standard terms. The Applicant also argued that the Respondent had failed to identify the correct ground of jurisdiction in the form N510 which it filed. Form N510 must be filed when a claimant intends to serve a claim form out of the jurisdiction without permission.

In refusing the application, the Court held that despite the defective form N510, the Respondent could rely on the provisions of Regulation 44/2001. The CPR does not require the basis for invoking jurisdiction to be set out in the claim form or the particulars of claim, and failure to do so is not a procedural mistake. The court has a discretion under CPR 6.34(2)(b) to permit service of the claim form in the absence of form N510, and the Applicant had sustained no prejudice as a result of the defective form.