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Supreme Court guidance on venue and stay applications

In VTB Capital PLC v Nutritek Corp [2013] UKsC 5 the supreme Court was asked to consider the refusal by the Court of Appeal to overturn a decision of Arnold J in the High Court that the proper venue for the trial of the claims brought by the Claimant bank was Russia and not the United Kingdom. The Claimant alleged that it had been the victim of fraudulent misrepresentation in support of loans made by it to the defendants and that fraud was perpetrated in London. It obtained a worldwide freezing injunction and permission to serve its claim outside the jurisdiction. It also sought to pierce the corporate veil to hold respondents behind the corporate bodies liable for defaulting on the loans.  The supreme Court rejected the appeal on the main issue (Lords Clarke and Reed dissenting) that the UK was the appropriate forum for the dispute. Importantly, for solicitors it gave guidance on a number of issues of importance including effective case management for venue and stay applications and Lord Wilson, in particular, was scathing about the continuation of a Freezing Injunction throughout the lengthy appellate proceedings. solicitors, especially those dealing with criminal fraud and civil fraud, should read the judgment carefully and consider the ramifications for freezing injunctions and restraint orders.


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