Francis Tregear QC successfully represented Swiss bank Banque Mirabaud & Cie SA in the Court of Appeal in arguing that the English Courts had no jurisdiction in respect of the claims of corruption made by the Public Institution for Social Security (PIFSS) in proceedings against Fahad AL-Rajaan and other defendants including Francis’s client.
The Court of Appeal (Peter Jackson LJ, Simmler LJ and Sue Carr LJ) unanimously held that PIFSS’s claims against Francis’s client and other defendants (i) in part fell within the wording of exclusive jurisdiction clauses agreed with PIFSS and had to be tried in the courts of Geneva pursuant to Article 23 of the Lugano Convention and (ii) to the extent that the claims were not within the exclusive jurisdiction clauses it was not expedient pursuant to Article 6 of the Lugano Convention for them to be heard in London together with the claims against Mr Al-Rajaan and others.
The judgment is an important ruling on the law as to issues of formal and material validity of exclusive jurisdiction clauses under Article 23 and on the test to be applied in considering whether it is expedient pursuant to Article 6 for claims against Francis’s client to be heard together with other claims against other defendants either domiciled within the jurisdiction of the English Courts or who had submitted to that jurisdiction.
The judgment can be found here.
Francis Tregear QC was instructed by Herbert Smith Freehills.