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Hendersons - Barristers' Chambers
News International 9th Nov 2020

High Court strikes out group action as an abuse of process: Municipo de Mariana v BHP Group PLC

The High Court has struck out claims brought by more than 200,000 Brazilian claimants in relation to an environmental disaster that occurred in Brazil in 2015.

In Municipo de Mariana v BHP Group PLC and BHP Group Ltd ([2020] EWHC 2930 (TCC)) Turner J found for the Defendant holding companies, respectively based in England and Australia, striking out the claims brought against them as an abuse of process and further finding that, in the alternative, the proceedings should be stayed under the Recast Brussels Regulation and, in respect of the Australian company, on the grounds of forum non conveniens.

Charles Gibson QC led the counsel team for the Defendants, instructed by Slaughter and May, and appeared before Turner J during the 8-day hearing held in July 2020.

Turner J’s judgment contains a comprehensive and detailed analysis of the relevant caselaw and his conclusions will no doubt be of interest to parties involved in similar cross-jurisdictional disputes.

A copy of the judgment can be found here.

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