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Hendersons - Barristers' Chambers
News Group Actions 19th Oct 2023

High Court declines jurisdiction on forum non conveniens grounds in supply chain group action

The High Court has declined jurisdiction in a Malaysian supply chain ESG group action brought against three members of the Dyson Group of companies – two based in England and a third based in Malaysia. The claims were brought by former employees of a third-party Malaysian supplier to the Dyson Group about the employees’ working conditions at the supplier and about alleged mistreatment by the Malaysian Police.  The High Court has held that the claims can and should be brought in Malaysia, the location of the supplier-employer and the alleged events that are said to give rise to the claims.  The Court found that there was a no real risk that the Claimants would not be able to access justice in Malaysia.  The claim has therefore been stayed against the English companies on forum non conveniens grounds (the Court’s power to do so against English domiciled Defendants having been revived following the post-Brexit repeal of the Brussels Recast Regulations) as well as setting aside service out on the Malaysian company.  The Claimants may seek permission to appeal.

The judgment is available here.  A more detailed alerter will follow.  Charles Gibson KC, Adam Heppinstall KC and Freya Foster were instructed by Baker & McKenzie LLP for the Dyson Companies.

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