The English High Court has rejected jurisdiction challenges by UK-domiciled mining company Vedanta Resources PLC and its Zambian-domiciled subsidiary Konkola Copper Mines PLC, allowing a group claim brought by 1,826 Zambian villagers in respect of alleged environmental pollution from the copper mine in Zambia to proceed against both companies: Lungowe & others v Vedanta Resources PLC and Konkola Copper Mines PLC [2016] EWHC 975 (TCC)

This case will be of interest to companies which are headquartered in London but with operations run by subsidiary companies around the world. If a similar approach is adopted in other cases, it may be difficult for such companies to challenge English jurisdiction for claims against both parent and subsidiary based on acts of the subsidiary company abroad – though of course each case will depend on its precise circumstances including (importantly) the nature, scope and extent of the parent company's control.

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