Starting today, the Supreme Court will hear an appeal against the Court of Appeal’s judgment in VTB Capital plc v Nutritek International Corporation and others  EWCA Civ 808). Herbert Smith Freehills is acting for the appellant, VTB, having been instructed at the Supreme Court stage in place of VTB’s previous solicitors. The appeal has been listed for a hearing of 3 days and can be viewed live over the internet on “Supreme Court TV”.
The Supreme Court will consider the important question of whether the court can “pierce the corporate veil” in order to treat a fraudster as a party to a contract, including a jurisdiction clause in that contract, where the fraudster has used a puppet company to enter into the contract in order to perpetrate fraud on a third party. It also raises the issue of when England will be held to be the appropriate forum, for the purposes of an application for permission to serve proceedings out of the jurisdiction, and in particular whether there is a presumption that a defendant who has committed a wrong within the jurisdiction of the English courts ought to answer for that wrong in the English courts.
This is our second Supreme Court outing in so many weeks, following last week’s appeal in the Prudential case on the question of whether legal professional privilege should be extended to advice from accountants, in which Herbert Smith Freehills is representing the Law Society as intervener (see post).