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Court of Appeal upholds that tragic Egypt holiday RTA case can be brought home

Judgment was today handed down by the Court of Appeal in Brownlie v FS Cairo (Brownlie No 2). After years of legal wrangle, it upheld that the case of this tragic road accident whilst on holiday in Egypt can be heard in the Courts of England and Wales.

The Court of Appeal (Underhill V-P, McCombe LJ, Arnold LJ dissenting) has followed the majority decision of the Supreme Court in Brownlie No. 1 and held that the meaning of “damage” in the tort jurisdiction gateway means “any substantial” damage. In so finding, it has concluded that Lady Brownlie can bring her claim for damages sustained in a road accident in Egypt in 2010 before the Courts of England and Wales.

The Court of Appeal also held that Lady Brownlie was entitled to rely on the presumption that Egyptian law of negligence and wrongful death for breach of contract was materially the same as English law (upholding a long-standing rule of evidence and procedure) to find that the claims had reasonable prospects of success.

As the High Court had previously found that England and Wales was the proper forum for the dispute (a finding not challenged by FS Cairo on appeal), Lady Brownlie’s claim for damages can be heard and determined by the English Court. FS Cairo has indicated an intention to apply for permission to appeal a second time to the Supreme Court.

Tort Gateway

This ruling constitutes binding authority on the important issue of the tort gateway which has challenged the appellate courts frequently in recent years. It means that those who suffer injury or illness outside England and Wales can, subject to forum conveniens arguments, bring their claims for damages before their home courts.

Sarah Crowther QC and Daniel Clarke of Outer Temple Chambers were instructed by Kingsley Napley LLP on behalf of Lady Brownlie in the Court of Appeal.

The full judgment can be read here.

Find Out More

Sarah Crowther QC regularly advises on all conflicts issues in tort and contract, especially jurisdiction in consumer and injury claims. She frequently acts in applicable law disputes including limitation, contribution claims, remedy, evidence, interest and costs. She has particular expertise in handling cases which require foreign law expert evidence and witnesses. Sarah has acted in many of the important cases regarding direct actions for and against motor and public liability insurers across Europe and in respect of the interpretation of the EU law relating to claims on behalf of victims of uninsured or unidentified drivers where the accident is in the EU. She also litigates tort claims in non-EU accidents and advises on jurisdiction and applicable law.

Dan Clarke‘s practise focuses on personal injury. He has a particular specialism in cases with an international element, including claims raising conflicts of law and jurisdictional issues. He also has experience of acting in claims in other jurisdictions including in the Privy Council and in Jersey

To find out more, contact Paul Barton or Mark Gardner on +44 (0)20 7353 6381 for a confidential discussion.

News 29 Jul, 2020


Sarah Crowther KC

Call: 1999 Silk: 2018

Daniel Clarke

Call: 2005

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