HSBC Bank Plc -v- Tambrook Jersey Limited  EWCA Civ 576
22 May 2013 On appeal from  EWHC 866 (Ch) 12 April
On 22 May 2013 the Court of Appeal of England and Wales
delivered the reasoned judgment for allowing the appeal from the
decision of the High Court of 12 April 2013 which we referred to in
an e-alert dated 2 May 2013. The judgment provides a welcome
confirmation of the importance of co-operation, reducing complexity
and cost and acting in the best interest of creditors in insolvency
The Court of Appeal stated that the request for assistance by
the Royal Court of Jersey to the English High Court made under
section 426 of the Insolvency Act 1986 should be accepted and
consequently ordered that Tambrook Jersey Limited, a Jersey
incorporated company with property in England, should in all the
circumstances be placed into English administration.
Section 426(4) of the Insolvency Act 1986 states "The
courts having jurisdiction in relation to insolvency law in any
part of the United Kingdom shall assist the courts having the
corresponding jurisdiction in any . . . relevant country or
territory". "country or territory"
Mr Justice Mann in the High Court had held that he had no
jurisdiction to make the order as the English Court was not
"assisting" the Jersey Court "in its
functions as an insolvency court". It was not
"being asked to assist the Jersey Court in any
endeavour." It was instead being asked to
"provide insolvency proceedings in lieu of any Jersey
He said "This court cannot "assist" another
court which is not actually doing anything, or apparently intending
to do anything, in its insolvency jurisdiction".
In the Court of Appeal, after citing authorities, Lord Justice
Longmore said this interpretation and approach was unduly and
unnecessarily restrictive for the following reasons:
Section 426 was not applicable "to courts exercising
jurisdiction in relation to insolvency law"; it is, by
its wording, applicable to courts having
Section 426(4) and (5) are to be given a broad interpretation.
There was no reason to apply a narrow and restrictive
This interpretation did not infringe the principle of
"modified universalism" and to decide otherwise would
tend to the opposite conclusion and lead to the need for separate
formal insolvency processes and would run up needless costs.
The Jersey Court was engaged in an endeavour which was to
further the interests of the company and its creditors and
facilitate the most efficient collection and administration of the
company's assets. It was clear that the Royal Court of Jersey
had carefully considered its jurisdiction and the request it
In conclusion, the making of the request in this context was
considered to be part of the exercise of Jersey insolvency law.
As the High Court would, but for the point on
"assist", have granted the administration, the
Court of Appeal therefore made such orders. It followed that the
orders in the other previous cases were ones the English courts had
jurisdiction to make.
This clearly accords with a number of previous applications of a
similar kind from both Jersey and the Isle of Man. It is consistent
with the origin of this section and with the principle of modified
universalism described in Re HIH Casualty and General Insurance
Limited  UKHL 21,  1 WLR 852 at paragraphs 6 and
It is consistent with Re O.T. Computers Limited 2002 JLR N,
the first of this line of cases (in which Bedell Cristin acted)
where the interests of creditors was important and, following Re
REO (Powerstation) Limited 2012 (1) JLR N, where the interests
of the debtor or the public interest are also important.
The decision is welcome, not only for applications involving
Jersey and England, but all courts of the United Kingdom and any .
. . "relevant country or territory" including
the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man and further, any of those
courts in other designated or prescribed countries under their own
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
A guide which outlines the procedures to wind up Jersey registered companies, the circumstances in which transactions entered into by an insolvent company may be set aside, and the circumstances in which a company’s officers and managers may incur civil or criminal liability.
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).