The gloves are off
- By Paul Sullivan
The High Court in Belfast recently called ‘Round One’ to Carl Frampton in his bout with Barry McGuigan.
Although the grounds of their various disputes are complicated, the issue to be determined by the Court at this stage was simply that of jurisdiction.
Claim A: This relates to an International Promotion Agreement (‘IPA’) between Frampton and Cyclone Promotions (UK) Limited. This claim is against the (dissolved) English company and its directors. A declaration is sought that the IPA is void and unenforceable on the grounds of uncertainty. Further, damages are sought on foot of various allegations of negligence, misrepresentation, breach of trust and of fiduciary duties.
Claim B: This also relates to the IPA and a Northern Ireland company, Cyclone Promotions Limited. A declaration is sought that the IPA is void on the grounds of its failure to identify the registered name of any company or its terms.
Claim C: This relates to an alleged breach of the IPA and is brought by the company in B seeking damages against Frampton. The company is apparently insolvent.
Under the Civil Jurisdictions and Judgements Act 1982, there is provision to allocate cases within the different jurisdictions of the UK. As a general rule, this will be determined by where a party is based.
Although there was some argument on this point, there was no dispute that proceedings in C were issued before those in either A or B. However, proceedings in A and B were actually served before C and the Court held that it is the date of service of proceedings which determines priority in the UK.
Mr Justice Horner held:
I am satisfied to the requisite standard that the equitable wrongs which Frampton claims he suffered as a consequence of the actions of [Cyclone] were sustained in Northern Ireland. Furthermore, there is a good arguable case on the evidence adduced that the harmful event, that is the unlawful diversion of his Share… took place in Northern Ireland.
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