This site uses cookies.

When may a parent company be liable for harm caused by the operations of its subsidiary: new developments in Vedanta Resources plc v Lungowe - Harry Sheehan, Devereux Chambers

07/10/19. The Supreme Court’s decision in Vedanta Resources plc v Lungowe [2019] UKSC 20 marks a substantial new development in the state of parent company liability and provides clear guidance as to when a parent company may be liable to those harmed by the operations of its subsidiary.

Within the last three years the Court of Appeal has decided three cases under very similar circumstances: Lungowe v Vedanta Resources plc [2018] 1 WLR 3575, Okpabi v Royal Dutch Shell plc [2018] EWCA Civ 191, and AAA v Unilever plc [2018] EWCA Civ 1532. In each of these cases a large number of claimants sought to bring claims against a parent company domiciled in the UK after being harmed by operations carried out by their subsidiaries in Africa. In each case the defendants attempted to prevent the claimants from being granted permission to effect service out of the jurisdiction and argued that there was no real issue to be tried against the UK based parent company. In Shell and Unilever the defendants had succeeded, with only the claimants in Vedanta being successful in the Court of Appeal...

Image ©iStockphoto.com/nito100

Read more (PIBULJ subscribers only)...

All information on this site was believed to be correct by the relevant authors at the time of writing. All content is for information purposes only and is not intended as legal advice. No liability is accepted by either the publisher or the author(s) for any errors or omissions (whether negligent or not) that it may contain. 

The opinions expressed in the articles are the authors' own, not those of Law Brief Publishing Ltd, and are not necessarily commensurate with general legal or medico-legal expert consensus of opinion and/or literature. Any medical content is not exhaustive but at a level for the non-medical reader to understand. 

Professional advice should always be obtained before applying any information to particular circumstances.

Excerpts from judgments and statutes are Crown copyright. Any Crown Copyright material is reproduced with the permission of the Controller of OPSI and the Queen’s Printer for Scotland under the Open Government Licence.