Monday 19 December 2022
By Appellant’s Notice filed and sealed on 15 September 2022, the three Defendants appeal parts of the order of Cockerill J sitting as a High Court Judge dated 29 July 2022 by which she dismissed the Defendants’ applications, ordered that they pay costs, interest and an interim payment on account of costs within 28 days of the date of the order.
Background – the Claimants form part of the Al Mana Group, an enterprise which includes business in the food and beverage and retail sectors operating principally in the Middle East and Gulf regions. The Defendants are insurance companies operating within Gulf Cooperation Council countries and which have their headquarters in UAE, Qatar and Kuwait respectively. The Defendants issued insurance policies for the Claimants and the Claimants then sought to bring a claim in the UK under the policies for indemnities for business interruption losses.
The Defendants challenged the jurisdiction of the English court in applications issued on 28 January 2022 and 25 February 2022. By her order of 29 July 2022, Cockerill J dismissed the applications finding that as a matter of construction the clause within the policies conferred non-exclusive jurisdiction on the English courts and that there was no basis for declining jurisdiction.