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8 Mar 2018

John Ogilvie & Daniel Hudson & Claire Stirrup & Angela Liu, Herbert Smith Freehills

Another successful challenge to jurisdiction of English Court to hear claims against English domiciled parent companies in relation to acts of subsidiaries abroad

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The High Court has struck out a claim against a UK incorporated parent company and set aside permission to serve a claim form out of the jurisdiction on its Kenyan domiciled subsidiary: AAA & Ors v Unilever Plc & Anor [2017] EWHC 371 (QB). The court held that there was no real issue to be tried between the claimants and the parent company, and so there was no basis on which to establish jurisdiction over the claim against the subsidiary (which the court considered had no reasonable prospect of success in any event). We understand that the court's decision is subject to appeal...We note that both Okpabi and AAA are subject to appeal and so we anticipate that the application of Chandler v Cape to the considerations of the second limb of Caparo will be considered at the appellate level in the near future.