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Catalyst Investment Group V. Levinsohn Notes

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This is an extract of our Catalyst Investment Group V. Levinsohn 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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CATALYST INVESTMENT GROUP V. LEVINSOHN FACTS Each of three English actions was largely the mirror image of one commenced in the
United States of America and involved the same parties, the same claim and the same
subject matter. All the parties were domiciled in England, apart from the claimant in
the third English action which was a Luxembourg entity. Two of the English actions
("the declaratory proceedings") arose out of the performance of various written
agreements, which were expressly governed by English law and included exclusive
jurisdiction clauses in favour of the courts of England and Wales, between one of the
claimants and a now defunct American corporation. The other English action ("the
noteholder proceedings"), brought against the same defendants as the declaratory
proceedings, alleged breaches of duties owed to holders of promissory notes issued by
the American corporation under secured loan agreements. The defendants applied
under CPR Pt 11 to stay each of the English actions on the ground that the most
appropriate forum was the United States court. It was common ground that the
English court was properly seised of the declaratory and the noteholder proceedings
under article 2 of Council Regulation (EC) No 44/2001 on jurisdiction and the
recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters 1, which
provided that defendants must be sued in the courts of the state in which they were
domiciled. However the defendants contended that, where there was a pending
action in a non­EU country, the appropriate reflexive application of article 27 of
the Regulation, by analogy with article 23, was for the court to apply its national
rules on forum conveniens in order to decide whether to stay proceedings in
favour of the non­EU court on the basis that the latter was the most appropriate
forum for the dispute. ISSUE Whether this court has power to decline jurisdiction or to grant a stay on such grounds
in favour of the courts of a non­EU country in respect of proceedings of which this
court is admittedly properly seised under article 2 of Council Regulation (EC) No
44/2001 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and
commercial matters (OJ 2001 L12 , p 1) HOLDING This question is not covered by Owusu In the specific case before the ECJ in Owusu there was no lis alibi pendens and the
ECJ expressly declined to answer the national court's question as to whether its
ruling applied in such a case. Argument on reflexive effect of Art. 27 Just as, by analogy with article 23 of the Regulation, the English court may stay
proceedings otherwise properly founded on article 2 in order to give effect to an
exclusive jurisdiction clause in favour of the courts of a non­EU country, so article 27

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