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The BVI Court of Appeal has recently given further guidance on the application of the established principles of forum non conveniens in the context of a claim brought in tort against certain BVI incorporated companies.
In Anjie Investments Limited -v- Cheng Nga Yee the Claimants brought proceedings in the BVI Commercial Court alleging fraudulent misrepresentation, as a result of which, they alleged, they transferred their shareholding in a BVI company to Anjie Investments Limited (“Anjie”), itself a BVI company.
Anjie applied to strike out the Claim and, in the alternative, to stay the Claim on the grounds that the BVI Courts were not the appropriate forum for the trial of the action: rather, the Court of Hong Kong was the appropriate forum. At first instance, the Commercial Court Judge (Farara J (Ag)) disagreed with Anjie. Whilst Farara J expressed satisfaction with many of Anjie’s arguments, it appeared that he was particularly swayed by the fact that the BVI corporate defendant was being sued as of right in the BVI, and the commission of the legal wrong complained of – misappropriation of shares in a BVI company, also took place in the BVI.
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Forum Challenges in the BVI – a forensic exercise