- Unlawfulness of service abroad (Von Pezold v Border Timbers)
- What are the practical implications of this case?
- What was the background?
- What did the court decide?
- Case details
Restructuring & Insolvency analysis: This case concerned whether moratorium provisions under Zimbabwean law applied to a company in ‘judicial management’ (a form of administration), and therefore whether it was unlawful under Zimbabwean law to serve a claim form in English proceedings on the company. If this was correct, service could not be effected because to do so would contravene CPR 6.40(4). The point arose because no express legislative provision had been made to deal with whether companies subject to judicial management proceedings would transition into corporate rescue proceedings under a new Insolvency Act when the Act which created the judicial management procedure was repealed. The court ultimately held that no intention could be read into the relevant legislation to effect this transition, such that the moratorium provisions did not apply to the defendant, Border Timbers, and it could therefore be served with the English proceedings. The case is noteworthy because the court provided guidance on the scope of CPR 6.40(3), and the position the court would take where service abroad would be unlawful, but where the defendant could nevertheless lawfully be served in England (eg on their English solicitor). Written by Karl Anderson, barrister at 4 Stone Buildings.
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