Key Holiday Law Decision: Brownlie v Four Seasons Holdings Incorporated  EWCA Civ 665
With the holiday season upon us. Lucy McCormick summarises a timely and key new case on jurisdiction where an accident happens abroad during a holiday booked from the UK.
In a wide-ranging decision earlier this month, the Court of Appeal has clarified a number of key questions on jurisdiction where an accident happens abroad during a holiday booked from UK. Most significantly, Arden LJ (giving the leading judgment) held that direct damage in the jurisdiction is required to come within the tort jurisdictional gateway in the CPR, effectively overruling earlier first instance decisions that indirect or consequential damage was sufficient. While this would prevent many overseas accidents from being litigated in the UK, Arden LJ did carve out an exception for Fatal Accident Act claims, which she considered involved ‘direct damage’ in the UK. She also took the opportunity to provide her own ‘gloss’ on the so-called ‘Canada Trust gloss’. Peppered throughout the judgment are some blistering but instructive observations on defective witness statements.