UCL Faculty of Laws


Fog in the Gateway

Fog in the Gateway: Brownlie v Four Seasons Holdings Inc

Decorative metal gold coloured railings at a gate in front of the Prince Albert memorial in Hyde Park

7 March 2019

Publication details 

Crampin, Joseph (2019) 'Fog in the Gateway: Brownlie v Four Seasons Holdings Inc', Modern Law Review, 82(2), 376-388.


 In Brownlie v Four Seasons Holdings Inc, the UK Supreme Court for the first time addressed the meaning of ‘damage’ in the gateway for jurisdiction in tort cases under paragraph 3.1(9)(a) of Practice Direction 6B of the Civil Procedure Rules 1998. The issue has proven controversial with a number of first instance decisions asserting an expansive jurisdiction in such cases, departing from the traditional approach. In the event the Court decided the case on other grounds, but the extensive discussion of the issue (on which the Court was divided 32) illustrates the stark divergence of opinion on the proper scope of and approach to the English courts’ adjudicatory authority. This note criticises the views advanced by the majority for endorsing the more expansive interpretation on the grounds that it fails to take account of the legislative history and applies an incomplete conception of justice in justifying its position.

Read the case note

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