Cases & Deals

Anchor defendant succeeds in jurisdictional challenge related to alleged $600 million international conspiracy claim

Clients Khoury, Wael

Jones Day has been acting for Mr. Wael Khoury, the anchor defendant, in a claim of alleged international conspiracy worth in excess of US$600 million. The defendants' jurisdiction challenge was heard in the Commercial Court over five days in July 2014, and was substantially upheld on the ground that the principal claim, worth in excess of US$500 million against Mr. Khoury, was unarguable.

The case was heard over four days before the Court of Appeal in February 2017. The Court of Appeal upheld the appeal brought by Jones Day on behalf of Mr. Khoury on the issue of the correct interpretation of Article 6(1), with the majority opinion being that the merits of the claim against the anchor defendant is a relevant consideration for the national court when considering whether ancillary jurisdiction should be exercised under Article 6(1), but found on the facts that the Claimant has a real prospect of establishing the principal claim against the anchor defendant.

Commentators have said that Sabbagh v Khoury [2017] EWCA Civ 1120 is a decision of paramount importance in cross-border cases where EU domiciled defendants are joined to proceedings in England and Wales under the ancillary jurisdiction rules of the Brussels I Regulation. This litigation matter to date has involved complex questions of private international law, probate, arbitrability, jurisdiction, corporate governance, and succession in the context of foreign-law governed conspiracy allegations.

Sana Sabbagh v. Wael Khoury and Others [2014] EWHC 3233 (Comm); Sana Sabbagh v. Wael Khoury and Others [2017] EWCA Civ 1120