Recent Tort Gateway Decisions

In two recent decisions the Courts have again considered the tort gateway (see, CPR Part 6, PD, paragraph 3.1(9)(a)) in the context of a jurisdictional challenge by a Defendant domiciled outside the jurisdiction and outside the EU: Brownlie v Four Seasons Holdings Inc & AnotherBrownlie Mark II” [2019] EWHC 2533 (QB); and,  Allan Peacock v Del Seatek India Pvt. Ltd [2019] EWHC 2867 (Admlty). In both cases, the obiter conclusions of the majority of Supreme Court Justices in Four Seasons Holdings Inc v BrownlieBrownlie Mark I” [2018] 1 WLR 192 (SC) were followed and, accordingly, it was held that secondary or indirect injury, loss and damage – experienced or suffered by the Claimant in his country of domicile viz. England (after an accident overseas) – could suffice for the claim to pass through the tort gateway. In Brownlie Mark II Nicol J stated as follows (paragraph 108 of judgment), “I recognise that all of the views of the Judges in Brownlie were obiter since all of the Justices of the Supreme Court accepted that the Claimant did not have a good arguable case that Holdings was responsible for the losses in contract or in tort. With such an illustrious range of opinions, it would seem somewhat superfluous for me to add to them. For what it is worth, I respectfully agree with the majority in the Supreme Court whose views I would anyway be inclined to prefer to those of the minority (and the decision of the Court of Appeal).

Permission to appeal has been granted in respect of the tort gateway in Brownlie Mark II and in Peacock. John Ross QC of 1 Chancery Lane acted for the Claimant in Brownlie Mark II and Matthew Chapman QC of 1 Chancery Lane acted for the Claimant in Peacock. Both Counsel acted for the Claimant in Brownlie Mark I at all stages of the litigation.


Written by or involving: John Ross QC, Matthew Chapman QC


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