UK Supreme Court Asserts Jurisdiction Because Conspiracy Was Hatched in England

April 30, 2018

The UK Supreme Court has decided that the English courts have jurisdiction to try a claim for unlawful conspiracy to injure where the conspiratorial agreement was “hatched” in England, even though the overt acts implementing the conspiracy occurred abroad.

This important decision was made in the long-running litigation between the Kazakh BTA Bank and Mukhtar Ablyazov, its former Chairman and majority shareholder.

BTA Bank is attempting to bring claims in England against Mr Ablyazov and his son-in-law, Mr Khrapunov, arguing that they conspired to dissipate and conceal Mr Ablyazov’s assets in breach of a worldwide freezing order issued against Mr Ablyazov by the English court.

Mr Khrapunov, who is domiciled in Switzerland, argued that the English court has no jurisdiction to hear the claim. However, the Supreme Court held that the place where the conspiracy was hatched, thereby “setting the tort in motion” is the place where jurisdiction should be founded. In this case, this was “the making of the agreement in England”.