HomeInsightsHigh Court refuses service out of the jurisdiction of an application for the grant of a Norwich Pharmacal order.

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In a case in which a Bangladeshi bank claimed to have been defrauded of $20 million by a third party at a meeting at the defendant bank’s Dubai offices, Mr Justice Teare has set aside a Norwich Pharmacal order against the defendant seeking information as to where the money went, on the basis that the court had no jurisdiction to permit service out of the jurisdiction of an application for the grant of a Norwich Pharmacal order.

The court found that the application did not pass through any of three jurisdictional gateways, under the Practice Direction to CPR Part 6, upon which the claimant sought to rely.  Norwich Pharmacal relief was not interim relief under CPR PD 6B paragraph 3.1(5), but was final against the defendant, notwithstanding any potential further proceedings against the allegedly fraudulent third party.  Nor could the claim be said to be for “an injunction ordering the defendant to do or refrain from doing an act within the jurisdiction” under CPR PD 6B paragraph 3.1(2) inasmuch as the defendant could comply with the injunction outside the jurisdiction.  Finally, the defendant could not be said to be a “necessary and proper party” under CPR PD 6B paragraph 3.1(3) where the real issue for the court to try was fraud and no allegation of fraud was made against the defendant.

Had the application passed through any of the jurisdictional gateways, the judge said that in exercising the court’s discretion, he would not have allowed service out in any event since compliance with the order would have risked breaching the law in the defendant’s own jurisdiction (AB Bank Ltd v Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank PJSC [2016] EWHC 2082 (Comm) – to read the judgment in full, click here).

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