Taken From: http://www.ntegrity.co.uk/

← Back

Domicile and the Limits of English Jurisdiction – High Court Ruling

The English commercial courts deal with cases from all over the world, but that does not mean that their jurisdiction is limitless. In one case that proved the point, the High Court refused to entertain a claim against a foreign businessman who had left his home in London and shifted his place of domicile to Switzerland.

Proceedings had been issued against the businessman in England, alleging that he had reneged on the terms of a joint venture concerning metallurgical and mining investments in Ukraine, Russia and the United States. It was common ground that the claim had no connection to England. However, the proceedings were served on an address in London on the basis that that was the businessman’s usual and last known residence and that he was domiciled in England.

The businessman, however, argued that he had left England for good before the proceedings were purportedly served and had established his domicile in Geneva. He had changed his official tax residence from England to Switzerland, obtained a Swiss residence permit, leased an apartment in Geneva, bought a car, joined a synagogue and a gym and engaged a personal trainer. He argued that he was thus entitled to insist that proceedings were brought in the Swiss courts.

In upholding those arguments and declining jurisdiction to consider the claim against him, the Court found that there was overwhelming evidence that he was both resident and domiciled in Switzerland on the date of purported service. He had made a distinct break from England and moved his gravitational centre to Geneva.

Contact us for more information

← Back

Contact Us


Vallon House, Vantage Court Business Park, Old Gloucester Road, Bristol. BS16 1GW

Tel 0845 638 3273