Youell & Ors v LA Reunion Aerienne & Ors [2008] EWHC 2493 (Comm)

Proceedings between Insurers are outside the scheme established by the Judgments Regulation [EC Regulation No. 44/2001]. To read the judgment, click here.  

Youell v LA Reunion: Article 5(1) of the Judgments Regulation provides that a person domiciled in a Member State may be sued for breach of contract in the courts of another Member State where performance of the obligation in question was to take place in that other Member State. Section 3 of the Regulation deals with ‘Jurisdiction in matters relating to insurance’ and Article 8 of that section provides that ‘In matters relating to insurance, jurisdiction shall be determined by this Section, without prejudice to Article 4 and point 5 of Article 5.’

In a dispute between an English Insurer and a French Insurer, the French Insurer tried to deny the applicability of Article 5(1), relying instead on Article 8 to insist that its breach of contract claim be heard by the French courts. The court rejected that argument, noting that Sections 3 and 4 of the Regulation have a common aim and a similar if not identical structure – they both have as their primary objective the protection of a party perceived to be the weaker party economically. That objective does not apply to a claim by a lead insurer to be reimbursed by following insurers in relation to a settlement with a third party, as was the case here.