Will the English courts enforce US insolvency judgments? Important Eurofinance decision

25 January 2011

The appeal of this matter is closely awaited as it affects the ability of US insolvency judgments to be enforced in England & Wales. It is anticipated that it will be listed towards the end of 2011.

Permission to appeal has been granted by the Supreme Court to decide whether or not there is an exception to the common law rule that the enforcement of personam judgments may be resisted by defendants in England on the grounds that they did not agree to, submit or participate in the foreign proceedings.

The exception in question relates to proceedings brought in bankruptcy by foreign officeholders on causes of action available only to foreign officeholders that are “generally equivalent” to claims available pursuant to English insolvency law. As a result of the existing Court of Appeal judgment, judgments on such claims will be enforced by the English courts unless they are contrary to public policy or are otherwise unfair.

This case therefore has important repercussions.

Alan Steinfeld QC and Marcus Staff are acting for the Appellants in the appeal.

If you would like a copy of the Court of Appeal judgment and the forthcoming Supreme Court judgment when it appears, please contact Paul Matthews on 020 7691 2424 or paul.matthews@xxiv.co.uk.