In Rubin v Eurofinance SA [2012] UKSC 46, the Supreme Court (by a majority of 4 to 1) reversed the Court of Appeal’s unanimous decision and held that the English court would not enforce a judgment made by the New York court in insolvency proceedings to which the defendant did not submit. In doing so, the Supreme Court gave valuable guidance as to the inherent conflict between the principle of universalism in insolvency proceedings and the common law rule that a foreign judgment should not be enforced unless the defendant was present in the foreign jurisdiction or otherwise voluntarily submitted to the proceedings in its courts.

Though the Supreme Court’s decision is most relevant to the enforcement of judgments made in foreign insolvency proceedings, it may also affect the scope of the English court’s ability to assist foreign insolvency proceedings. Importantly, the decision allows English residents with English assets to continue to make their own decisions about whether to submit to a foreign jurisdiction outside the EU, regardless of whether or not their counterparty has entered a foreign insolvency proceeding.

For more information, please see our Litigation Notes blog.