Cherney v Deripaska – domicile under the Jurisdiction Regulation

Mr Deripaska was an immensely wealthy Russian businessman. He owned several residences including one in London at 5, Belgrave Square, kept staffed and ready for him, but he spent no more than 27 nights there a year. He spent more time in Russia than anywhere else. The claimant, an Usbek resident in Israel, sought to serve proceedings on him at 5, Belgrave Square by leaving the claim form with a security guard. The defendant acknowledged service stating an intention to dispute jurisdiction.

The best outcome for the claimant would have been for the defendant to have been domiciled in the UK since this would have entitled him to sue him in the English courts under Art 2 of the Jurisdiction Regulation (Council Regulation EC No 44/2201, also known as the Judgments or the Brussels Regulation). This would also have made irrelevant any arguments about whether England was the appropriate forum for the dispute since a defendant cannot allege “forum non conveniens” if he is domiciled in a member state (Owusu v Jackson).