John Ross QC and Matthew Chapman QC have recently appeared before the Supreme Court to argue the Respondent’s case in Four Seasons Holdings Incorporated v. Brownlie. The hearing took place over 3 days – 9 and 10 May and 20 July. The primary issue was “Whether the Court of Appeal erred in holding that the tort jurisdictional gateway test under paragraph 3.1(9)(a) Practice Direction 6B of the CPR, which requires that “damage” be sustained within the jurisdiction, is not satisfied by indirect or consequential damage”. The decision of the Supreme Court was reserved and will be delivered on a day to be announced, presumably early next term.
The respondent was involved in a motor accident in Cairo in which her husband was killed and she was injured. The accident occurred during an excursion that the respondent had booked several days earlier by telephone from England with the concierge of the Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at Nile Plaza.
The respondent brought proceedings, both in her own capacity and as widow and executrix of her late husband’s estate, claiming damages in contract and tort. She obtained permission ex parte to serve out of the jurisdiction in Canada on the appellant corporation, which runs the Four Seasons hotel business. At the inter partes hearing, Master Cook set aside the grant of permission on the basis that the English court did not have jurisdiction to hear the respondent’s claims. Tugendhat J allowed the respondent’s appeal, restoring the order for service out of all of her claims. The Court of Appeal allowed the appellant’s appeal in respect of the respondent’s tort claims in her own capacity and under the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1934, but dismissed the appeal in respect of the respondent’s contract claim and a tort claim made as a dependant of her late husband under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976.
The appellant was granted permission to appeal to the Supreme Court in relation to the respondent’s contract claim and the claim under the 1976 Act. The respondent therefore sought and obtained permission to cross-appeal in relation to the other tort claims.
The Judgment appealed is reported at  EWCA Civ 665