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If a tort is committed against me while I am abroad,1 is my suffering consequential economic loss in England sufficient to establish the jurisdiction of the English courts over the defendant? In FS Cairo (Nile Plaza) LLC v Lady Brownlie2 (“Brownlie (No 2)”), the Supreme Court held: yes. The second issue before the Supreme Court was under what conditions I can then rely on English law in pleading my claim, even if a foreign law applies to that claim. The answer: where neither party pleads that foreign law applies to the claim or when the foreign law that applies is materially similar to English law.
The Brownlie litigation has been the object of much commentary already,3 so that the facts can be briefly summarised for our purposes. In 2009, Lady Brownlie booked a stay for herself and her husband, Sir Ian Brownlie, at the Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at Nile
Plaza in Egypt. Before departing for Egypt, Lady Brownlie called the hotel to book a tour advertised on a brochure she had picked up during a previous stay at the same hotel. Tragically, the tour ended in an accident which took the life of Sir Ian Brownlie and his daughter, Rebecca, and left Lady Brownlie and Rebecca’s two children seriously injured.