Bitar v Banque Libano-Francaise. A reminder that, under (acquired) EU law, one must not be domiciled in the EU for one to ‘direct’ one’s activities here and so trigger the consumer section.

Bitar v Banque Libano-Francaise S.A.L. [2021] EWHC 2787 (QB) discusses whether a Lebanese bank could be considered to have ‘directed’ its activities at the UK under the CJEU Pammer Alphenhof criteria, thus triggering the consumer section of the (acquired) EU Brussels Ia Regulation.

Kent DJ held it had: claimant’s arguments are at [29] ff, purporting to build evidence of a chain of marketing aimed at the expat Lebanese community. They show the importance of information put on websites, often made to look more glamorous by the addition of elements such as links to England and London in particular.  The judge is on point I find where he dismisses the singular relevance of the use of English etc in a world where every Tom Dick and Harry put that on their website. However he does conclude [65]

the website pages to which I have referred which were visible from the United Kingdom do indeed give the impression to a fair-minded observer—and I would say quite a strong impression—that the Bank was interested in obtaining custom from the expatriate Lebanese community in whichever part of the world not insignificant numbers of those who can be treated as falling within that expression were gathered and that in 2014 did include England. 

Geert.

EU private international law, 3rd ed. 2021, Heading 2.2.9.2.7, 2.270 ff

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