Lexis Nexis
20 May 2015

Conflicts of Law: Hazel Chambers on a recent decision concerning the application of foreign law in English courts

Allen and others v Depuy International Ltd [2015] EWHC 926 (QB), [2015] All ER (D) 64 (Apr)

The proceedings concerned New Zealand nationals who were claiming damages for personal injury allegedly resulting from defective prosthetic hip implants manufactured by the defendant, a company registered in England. At a previous hearing, it had been determined that in considering the case, the English court should apply New Zealand law. This was the trial of a further preliminary issue - namely whether certain provisions of New Zealand law, in particular the no-fault compensation scheme established by the New Zealand Accident Compensation Act 2001, precluded the claimants from bringing their claim in the English court altogether.

As is standard practice where foreign law is being considered, the English Court heard expert evidence as to how New Zealand law should be interpreted and applied. Because the claimants were covered by the no-fault scheme, they were barred from bringing proceedings, whether in New Zealand or the UK.

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