Wednesday, 30 January 2013

UK: Supreme Court appeal in Petrodel case - seven justices to hear appeal

Last October, as noted here, the Court of Appeal gave judgment in Petrodel Resources Ltd v Prest [2012] EWCA Civ 1395, [2012] WLR (D) 296. The majority provided a strong endorsement of the company's separate legal personality and its application in family proceedings. Indeed, Rimer LJ stated: "... the separate corporate identity of a company is a fact of legal life that all courts are required to recognise and respect, whatever jurisdiction they are exercising".

Permission to appeal was granted and earlier this year the Supreme Court announced that a panel of five justices would hear the appeal (Lady Hale and Lords Neuberger, Walker, Mance and Wilson). This has changed: seven justices will now hear the appeal, the original panel being joined by Lords Sumption and Clarke (the criteria used to determine if a panel of more than five justices should hear an appeal are available here). Three of the justices (Lords Neuberger, Mance and Wilson) heard argument last year in another case concerning the corporate veil, VTB Capital plc v Nutritek International Corp, the judgment for which is expected within the next couple of months (the hand-down date will be published here).

Note: a copy of the first instance Petrodel decision has only recently been added to the BAILII database: see here.

Update (31 January 2013) - the VTB judgment is being handed down on 6 Feb: see here.

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