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Rubin V. Eurofinance Notes

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This is an extract of our Rubin V. Eurofinance document, which we sell as part of our Conflict of Laws BCL Notes collection written by the top tier of Oxford students.

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RUBIN V. EUROFINANCE FACTS The issue is whether, and if so, in what circumstances, an order or judgment of a foreign court (on these appeals the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, and the New South Wales Supreme Court) in proceedings to adjust or set aside prior transactions, eg. preferences or transactions at an undervalue ("avoidance proceedings"), will be recognised and enforced in England. In each of the appeals it was accepted or found that the party against whom they were given was neither present (nor, for the purposes of the 1933 Act, resident) in the foreign country nor submitted to its jurisdiction (which are the relevant conditions for enforceability at common law and under the 1933 Act). Rubin Judgment of the US Federal Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York ("the US Bankruptcy Court") in default of appearance for about US$10m under State and Federal law in respect of fraudulent conveyances and transfers was enforced in England at common law. Eurofinance SA settled "The Consumers Trust" ("TCT") under a deed of trust made in 2002 under English law, with trustees resident in England. TCT was established to carry on a sales promotion scheme in the USA and Canada. The trustees were to hold the capital and income of TCT for the beneficiaries and subject thereto for Eurofinance SA as beneficiary in default. The promotion, known as the Cashable Voucher Programme, was entered into with participating merchants in the United States and Canada who, when they sold products or services to their customers, offered those customers a cashable voucher comprising a rebate of up to 100% of the purchase price for the product or service. In November 2005 Adrian Roman caused Eurofinance to apply for the appointment by the High Court of the respondents on the Rubin appeal, David Rubin and Henry Lan, as receivers of TCT for the purposes of causing TCT then to obtain protection under Chapter 11 of Title 11 of the United States Code ("Chapter 11"). November 2005 the respondents were appointed as receivers by order of Lewison J, and in the following month, the respondents and the trustees then caused TCT to present a voluntary petition to the US Bankruptcy Court for relief under Chapter 11. The respondents were appointed legal representatives of TCT and given the power to commence, prosecute and resolve all causes of action against potential defendants including the appellants.

In November 2008 the respondents applied as foreign representatives to the Chancery Division for, inter alia, (a) an order that the Chapter 11 proceedings be recognised as a "foreign main proceeding" (b) an order that the respondents be recognised as "foreign representatives" within the meaning of article 2(j) of the Model Law in relation to those proceedings; and (c) an order that the US Bankruptcy Court's judgment be enforced as a judgment of the English court in accordance with CPR Pts 70 and 73. New Cap A default judgment of the New South Wales Supreme Court, Equity Division, for about US$8m in respect of unfair preferences under Australian law was enforced under the Foreign Judgments (Reciprocal Enforcement) Act 1933 ("the 1933 Act"). In the New Cap appeal the appellants are members of Lloyd's Syndicate Number 991 ("the Syndicate") for the 1997 and 1998 years of account. New Cap is an Australian company, which was licensed as an insurance company in Australia under the Australian Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) ("the Australian Act"). New Cap reinsured the Syndicate in relation to losses occurring on risks attaching during the 1997 and 1998 years of account under reinsurance contracts which were subject to English law, and contained London arbitration clauses and also (oddly) English jurisdiction clauses The second respondent was appointed the administrator of New Cap by a resolution of its directors in April 1999. In September 1999 the creditors of New Cap resolved that New Cap be wound up and the second respondent ("the liquidator") was appointed its liquidator. In April 2002 the liquidator caused proceedings to be commenced against the Syndicate in the Supreme Court of New South Wales alleging that because New Cap was insolvent when the commutation payments were made in January 1999, and because those payments were made within the period of six months ending on the date when the administrator was appointed, they constituted unfair preferences and were thus "voidable transactions" under Part 5.7B of the Australian Act. The Syndicate (which does not accept that the payments were preferences) refused to accept service of the Australian proceedings. On the liquidator's application the Australian court issued, in October 2009, a letter of request to the High Court in England and Wales requesting that the court "act in aid of and assist" the Australian court and exercise jurisdiction under section 426 of the Insolvency Act 1986 by: (1) ordering the Syndicate to pay the sums specified in the Australian judgment; alternatively (2) allowing the

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