Archive for category Conflict of Laws /Private international law
Canadian recognition of Syncreon Group English Scheme of Arrangement underscores new markets for restructuring tourism.
An essentially Dutch group employs English restructuring law and has the resulting restructuring recognised in Canada. Need one say more to show that regulatory competition is alive and well and that the UK, England in particular need not fear a halt to restructuring forum shopping post Brexit.
Blakes first alerted me to the case, the Initial recognition order 2019 ONSC 5774 is here (I have not yet managed to locate the final order). Insolvency trustee PWC have a most informative document portal here. See also the Jones Day summary of the arrangements here. The main issue of contention was the so-called third party release in favour of Syncreon Canada which could have bumped into ordre public hurdles in Ontario as these clearly have an impact on the security of underlying debt. The way in which the proceeding are conducted (fair, transparent, with due consideration of minority holders etc.) clearly have an impact on this exercise.
(Handbook of) EU Private International Law, 2nd edition 2016, Chapter 2, Chapter 5.
Vestel v HEVC Advance (Delaware) and Philips (NL). High Court denies stand-alone competition law damage both on the basis of Article 7(2) BRU Ia and residual CPR rules.
In  EWHC 2766 (Ch) Vestel Elektronik v HEVC Advance and Koninklijke Philips NV, Hacon J found no jurisdiction in a stand-alone competition law damages case (no finding of infringement yet; claim is one of abuse of dominant position). He rejected the existence of jurisdiction against Philips NV (of The Netherlands) on the basis that no damage existing or potential could be shown grounding Article 7(2) Brussels Ia tortious Jurisdiction. Against the Delaware defendant, the relevant CPR rules applied per Four Seasons v Brownlie did not lead to jurisdiction either.
(Handbook of) EU Private International Law, 2nd ed. 2016, Chapter 2, Heading 18.104.22.168
ED&F Man Capital Markets v Come Harvest Holding et al. Court of Appeal confirms Tolenado DJ’s forum analysis of Vedanta. Leaves Rome II issue undiscussed.
In  EWCA Civ 2073 the Court of Appeal on Tuesday confirmed the High Court’s analysis of Vedanta. I discuss the High Court’s finding at length here. Best simply to refer to that post – readers of the CA judgment shall read Faux LJ confirming the implications of Vedanta. Note also the discussion on the limited impact of the Singaporean pre-action (particularly disclosure) proceedings: precisely because they were pre-action and not intended to at that stage launch a multiplicity of proceedings.
The Rome II argument was left untouched for appellant conceded that failure on the Vedanta point would sink the appeal.
(Handbook of) European private international law, second ed. 2016, Chapter 8, Headings 22.214.171.124., 8.3.2; Chapter 4, Heading 4.4.
Central Santa Lucia L.C. v. Meliá Hotels International S.A.: Spanish court obiter applying Article 24 Brussels Ia reflexively ex-EU (Cuba).
Thank you Antonio Pastor for signalling Central Santa Lucia L.C. v. Meliá Hotels International S.A., litigation on which also more background here. The Spanish courts at MAllorca (appeal expected) have declined jurisdiction concerning confiscated property in Cuba after the end of suspension of Title III of the Libertad Act (the “Helms-Burton Act”, well known to trade and international lawyers alike) on the basis of sovereign immunity, as Antonio explains.
However as I understand Antonio’s summary (I fear I do not have Spanish to consult the judgment myself), the Court obiter also applied Article 24(1) Brussels Ia reflexively: if Brussels Ia grants exclusive jurisdiction to the courts of the Member State in which the property is situated in proceedings which have as their object rights in rem in immovable property or tenancies of immovable property, then EU Courts should decline jurisdiction if that real estate happens to be located ex-EU. Readers will remember the discussions on this issue in one or two earlier postings on this blog.
Interesting, to say the least.
(Handbook of) EU private international law, 2nd ed. 2016, Chapter 2, Heading 2.2.6.
In Clearlake Shipping Pte Ltd v Xiang Da Marine Pte Ltd  EWHC 2284 (Comm) Andrew Burrows QC essentially halted an attempt by Xiang Da Marine to construct third party proceedings in Singapore so as to avoid choice of court pro England following a series of contracts relating to the chartering of a vessel.
The proceedings, which the interim anti-suit injunctions are restraining, are third party proceedings brought in Singapore by Xiang Da against Clearlake and Gunvor. Those third party proceedings have arisen in relation to an action in Singapore against Xiang Da brought by China-Base Ningbo Group Co Ltd (hereinafter ‘China-Base’). In so far as Xiang Da is liable to pay damages or otherwise suffers loss by reason of the claim brought against it by China-Base, it seeks an indemnity or contribution from Clearlake and Gunvor as third parties. (The claim by China-Base against Xiang Da in Singapore in the meantime has been discontinued. But the third party proceedings remain extant; and those third party proceedings could still be used by Xiang Da to seek to recover loss suffered by reason of the claim brought against it by China-Base.)
The judgment is best consulted for further context; RPC have analysis here, 22 Essex Street here. The judgment is a good reminder of the law on anti-suit injunctions. One can also appreciate that given privity of contract, anti-suit granted viz-a-vis third party proceedings must be treated with caution. Yet restrained application of same is a good way to discipline overly creative proceedings designed simply to circumvent choice of court (and which with respect to the third party involved are vexatious or oppressive).
(Handbook of) EU private international law, 2nd ed. 2016, Chapter 2, Heading 2.2.1.
 EWHC 3105 (Fam) P v P is a case which does not have private international law implications – and I am not a family law expert. I simply flag the issues briefly for transgender family law issues do feature repeatedly in PIL scholarship and current case may become a point of reference.
In 1990, when 34 years of age, the applicant ‘AP’ underwent gender re-assignment surgery, transitioning from female to male. It follows that he had lived as a male for nearly 19 years at the point when he married JP who is a woman, and who was born a woman. At the time of the marriage in 2009, AP had not obtained a Gender Recognition Certificate (referred to in the judgment as a ‘GRC’), and his birth certificate had not been changed; his birth certificate showed him still as a female. GRC was not in existence in 1990, at the time of the transition.
In 2017, AP contacted the Department for Work and Pensions (‘DWP’) raising queries about his pension entitlement. He was advised that his marital status could not be recognised. Despite a letter from AP’s general practitioner in 1990 confirming that AP had “now had surgery and other treatment for gender reassignment”, he was still legally female and was so at the time he purported to enter into the marriage with JP. AP understood the advice from the DWP to be that if he wished the marriage to be recognised as lawful, he would have to either obtain a declaration of validity or he would need to ‘re-marry’ her, but legally as a man.
AP therefore applied to the court to have the 2009 marriage declared lawful: “… so that I can continue to remain married to my wife. I do not wish to have my marriage declared void. This would be emotionally very distressing for us both.”
Cobb J (concluding at 73 in fine that ‘I am conscious that this outcome will be very distressing to AP and JP’) reviews ECHR authority in particular Goodwin v UK (2002), but also the CJEU (MB v. Secretary of State for Work and Pensions; and C-673/16, Coman v Romania and in the end held that applicant’s Article 8 rights had not been infringed by the refusal of application of lawfulness, at 54 ff and summarising at 65 ff. At 66 he lists a number of initiatives applicant could have taken to make use of the UK’s provision for a legal mechanism for the recognition of the relationship of AP and JP. Absence of said provisions by the UK might have led to a finding of Article 8 ECHR breach – but availability of measures remedying the 1990 absence of GRC seem to have counted heavily to applicant’s disadvantage.