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Four Seasons Holdings Incorporated v Brownlie [2017] UKSC 80: Jurisdiction in Personal Injury Claims Which Occur in Countries Outside of the EU - Paul McClorry, Hudgell Solicitors

27/03/18. The Judgment in the recent decision (19th December 2017) of the Supreme Court in Four Seasons Holdings Incorporated v Brownlie ([2017] UKSC 80),is a must-read for all lawyers dealing with claims (particularly tortious claims) with a cross-border element. It is a fascinating decision with fundamentally important comments concerning jurisdictional issues which affect personal injury incidents that occur in countries outside of the EU.

Background

In January 2010, Lady Brownlie and her husband, Sir Ian Brownlie QC, were on holiday in Egypt, staying at the Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at Nile Plaza. On a previous trip to the hotel, Lady Brownlie had picked up a hotel leaflet advertising safari tours in Egypt. Before travelling to Egypt in January 2010, Lady Brownlie telephoned (from England) the hotel and booked the excursion with the hotel concierge (an excursion contract not regulated by the Package Travel (etc) Regulations 1992).

On 3rd January 2010, the Brownlies started the excursion in Cairo in a chauffeur driven car. Tragically, the car crashed, killing Sir Ian Brownlie and injuring Lady Brownlie.

Lady Brownlie commenced Court proceedings in England for damages for personal injury in her own right, damages in her capacity as Sir Ian Brownlie’s executrix (pursuant to the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1934), and damages for bereavement and loss of dependency in her capacity as her late husband’s widow (pursuant to the Fatal Accidents Act 1976).

As the claim was brought against a Canadian company, permission of the Court was required to serve the Claim Form out of the jurisdiction. Crucially, before permission can be given for service of a Claim Form out of the jurisdiction, it is necessary for the Claimant to establish that...

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