This will have implications for countless matters. We might as well begin with commercial law generally: see the useful suite of articles from top firm Bird & Bird and the equally informative introduction to the problems of Brexit by HFW .
A nice point about freezing injunctions in the High Court today, in which Leggatt J provided some joy for honest but hard-pressed litigants. Kazakhstan Kagazy (KK), a British company with big interests in paper & recycling in Kazakhstan, sued a number of its subsidiaries’ employees, including A and Z, for dishonestly siphoning off something over $100 million to themselves and their chums in Central Asia (the serious litigation is booked for next year). KK settled with Z for what one suspects was a tidy sum plus an agreement to co-operate in chasing the other defendants. Proceedings against Z were duly stayed.
A issued a Pt 20 notice claiming contribution from Z in the event that he was held liable to KK. As an adjunct he also sought a freezing injunction against Z. In fact the contribution notice was bad for other reasons, but Z also raised an interesting argument on the freezing injunction. According to The Veracruz  1 Lloyd’s Rep 353, there can be no freezing injunction until you have a right against the defendant: it won’t do to say, however convincingly, that you almost certainly will have a right next week and that there won’t then be a cat in hell’s chance of making it good if the defendant can hide his assets. Well then, said Z: this must protect me. Any right A may have against me for contribution will arise only when A has been sued by, or settled with, KK; until then there is no right but merely the prospect of one.
Apparently logical: but if correct, this would effectively mean that freezing injunctions would be a dead letter in contribution claims. Leggatt J was having none of it. To get freezing relief, he said, all you needed was to have the ability to bring proceedings which wouldn’t automatically be struck out. Since you can Part 20 a third party as soon as you are sued, and indeed A had done just that, it followed that had the contribution notice been good, there could have been an asset-freeze. As I say, much relief for hard-pressed litigants.
A new book for a new year!
This monograph on transnational human rights litigation against multi-national corporations in the US and the UK has now been published by Edward Elgar Ltd. For further details go to:
1. Corporations and International Law
2. Suing in the US (1). Jurisdiction
3. Suing in the US (2). The Alien Tort
Statute 1789 and Statutory Causes of Action
4. The ‘Law of Nations’ as a Cause of Action in the US
5. Tort Caims Against MNCs in the US
6. Tort Claims Against TNCs in the UK
7. Customary International Law as a Cause of Action Outside the US
8. Voluntary Codes and the UN Guiding Principles
304 pp Hardback 978 0 85793 475 8
Dec 2015 £80.00 (UK/RoW) • Feb 2016 $125.00 (N/S America)
Elgaronline 978 0 85793 476 5
Corporations, Globalisation and the Law series
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Testing the boundaries of extraterritorial jurisdiction
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Commercial Law Firm
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Admiralty & Maritime Law on the Rivers
International news of the Coastal & Marine Union (EUCC)
An Introduction to International Law