On 20 October 2021, the Supreme Court handed down its decision in Brownlie v FS Cairo (Nile Plaza) LLC  UKSC 45, a landmark case on two important points of private international law: the scope of the Court’s jurisdiction to hear tort claims against defendants based outside of the jurisdiction; and the pleading and proof of foreign law. Marie Louise Kinsler KC, Howard Palmer KC, Alistair McKenzie and Benjamin Phelps appeared for the Respondent in the Supreme Court.
The case raises important points of principle and practice. Following the UK’s exit from the EU, the Supreme Court’s judgment is the leading authority on the Court’s jurisdiction to hear claims arising from accidents abroad. Claimants will be able to rely on the tort gateway to commence proceedings in England arising out of accidents abroad, wherever they occur. The judgment on the tort gateway has wider implications for jurisdiction in relation to tort claims outside of the personal injury context, particularly those founded on economic loss or financial damage.
The Supreme Court also gave important new guidance on the correct approach to proof and pleading of foreign law in the English courts. The judgment will result in significant changes to practice in claims with an international element.
Please see below a link to the judgment.