The claim concerned the attempted recovery by insurers of the proceeds of a settlement paid for the loss of a ship. The question before the Supreme Court was whether English courts had jurisdiction under the rules in the Brussels I regulation. The interpretation of that regulation in matters relating to insurance has been more commonly seen in road traffic accident cases and tour operator / holiday claims. The underlying facts in Aspen may be very different to personal injuries sustained abroad, but the decision is nevertheless relevant to them.
This piece is an update about yesterday’s judgment on the cross-border jurisdiction points at issue in the claim we outlined previously on the blog on 21 January 2020. One key question was stayed – that being jurisdiction in non-contractual claims featuring joinder of the foreign insured to a direct claim against the foreign insurer – given that the point is already before the CJEU in a different case. Although the remaining live jurisdictional arguments went against us, there is much in the 24 page judgment that is worth closer review.
A BLM case heard in the High Court last week involves significant questions of jurisdiction under the recast Brussels I Regulation (reg 1215/2012), certain of which had been aired in the recent cases of Lackey* and Cole*, which will be familiar to those involved in cross-border litigation. The novel question in the current case – probably of greatest interest to insurers – was whether a territorial scope clause in the policy between insurer and insured had the practical effect of barring the third party claimant from accessing the favourable jurisdiction options set out in section 3 of the regulation.