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You Can Be Resident in More than One Country At Once – High Court Ruling

The case below is of major interest to any business person who is domiciled out of the UK but has business interests within this jurisdiction which can now lead to the court stating that a person is domiciled in more than one country.

The business person below argued that as he was domiciled in Russia, the claimant had no right to sue him in the English courts.  The court disagreed with this on the basis his children live here, his wife lived here and he spent much of his time in a large property in London.

Most interesting the claim related to Russian assets, in Russia,  Even though the court found that the Russian court’s would be better placed to hear the claim, the claim was allowed to proceed in London.  I would be very interested to understand why the Claimant (who was Russian and domiciled in Russia) preferred the English Courts to the Russian Courts.

 

It is possible to be resident in more than one country at the same time and those who have been resident in England for three months or more are generally also viewed as domiciled here. The High Court made those points in considering the position of a Russian businessman who spent most of his time in his homeland but was a frequent visitor to London, where he owned an £11.3 million flat.It is possible to be resident in more than one country at the same time and those who have been resident in England for three months or more are generally also viewed as domiciled here. The High Court made those points in considering the position of a Russian businessman who spent most of his time in his homeland but was a frequent visitor to London, where he owned an £11.3 million flat.

The businessman was being sued for over $7.5 million by a former associate in a joint venture to exploit mining projects in Russia. Both men were Russian citizens and their business interests were either entirely or mainly focused on their homeland. The subject matter of the venture was also wholly Russian.

After the associate launched proceedings in London, the businessman applied to stay the claim on the basis that the Court should decline jurisdiction. The Court accepted that Russia would probably have been a more appropriate forum in which to resolve the dispute. However, it found that it was obliged to accept jurisdiction on the basis that the businessman was domiciled in England.

The Court noted that the Russian-born businessman is tax domiciled in Russia and resides for most of the year in a six-bedroom family home in Moscow. However, his children were being educated in England and they and his wife resided in the Belgravia flat which was, on any view, a substantial property. The periods of time that he spent in London were substantial and increasing.

The evidence demonstrated that, as well as being resident in Russia, he was also settled in England and treated this country as a usual place of abode, with a degree of permanence and continuity. Those living circumstances had subsisted for more than three months and his residence in, and substantial connection to, England gave rise to a presumption that he was also domiciled in this country.

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