In Albon (trading as N A Carriage Co) v Naza Motor Trading SDN BHD and another – Butterworths Law Direct 24.1.07 the Chancery court considered the interpretation of CPR 6.20(5) ‘a claim is made in respect of a contract where the contract—(a) was made within the jurisdiction; (c) is governed by English law: (6) a claim is made in respect of a breach of contract committed within the jurisdiction; (15) a claim is made for restitution where the defendant’s alleged liability arises out of acts committed within the jurisdiction’.
In this case a claim for repayment was pleaded as arising by reason of overpayment made under a mistake of fact and the claim was made in restitution. The Claimant obtained permission to serve outside the jurisdiction in Malaysia, and on a further without notice application by the Claimant the master made an order for service on the Defendants in Malaysia by alternative means. The Defendants applied to set aside the orders permitting service and alternative service out of the jurisdiction. An issue arose whether for the purposes of CPR 6.20(5) a claim ‘in respect of a contract’ had to be a contractual claim.
It held that claims under CPR 6.20(5) were not confined to claims arising under a contract. It extended to claims made ‘in respect of a contract’ and the formula ‘in respect of’ was wider than ‘under a contract’. The formula of words in 6.20(5) ‘in respect of a contract’ did not require that the claim arose under a contract: it required only that the claim related to or was connected with the contract. That was the clear and unambiguous meaning of the words used. The words ‘in respect of’ were difficult to define, but they had the widest possible meaning of any expression intended to convey some connection or relation between the two subject-matters to which the words referred.
The claim in restitution in the instant case satisfied that requirement. Claims in contract and restitution to repayment were overlapping alternatives. The necessary relationship and connection between the claim and the UK agreement was established. English law was also the law with which the UK agreement was most closely connected, there was a serious issue to be tried and the appropriate forum for resolution of the disputes relating to the UK agreement was plainly England.