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Buachaill, Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10973
Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
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I was joint MD of a German company which was sued (fraudulently)

Customer Question

I was joint MD of a German company which was sued (fraudulently) by a notorious German Insolvency Lawyer for extremely high sums. Ultimately this summer (after 8 years) his case against me was thrown out with all costs to be met by him.
As a UK citizen living (again) in the UK for the last few years am I able to sue him in the UK for damages. He has a UK LLP but his action was personal as Insolvency Lawyer of a German Debtor company?
I would personally be suing him as he sued both my company (of which I was majority shareholder) my co MD personally (since deceased) and me personally.
Damages in the UK are awarded at a higher level and punitive damages are not known under German Law.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Buachaill replied 2 years ago.
1. At the outset, the allocation of jurisdiction between different countries in the EU is governed by an EU Regulation. The primary rule is that a Defendant has to be sued in the courts of the country where he is resident. This would be Germany here and not the UK. An alternative basis, if you were suing a company, would be the country of the registered address of the company or LLP. Here, as you would be suing this German insolvency lawyer personally and he is resident in Germany, you would have to sue there. If you sued in the UK, the UK court would decline jurisdiction if it was contested in favour of a German court.
Expert:  Buachaill replied 2 years ago.
2. You could sue the UK LLP, and this would give the UK courts jurisdiction, but you would need to have a valid cause of action against the LLP in order to successfully bring the action in the UK. So, if the German lawyer acted as a lawyer with the shield of his LLP when he sued you and your german company, then you would be able to sue in the UK. However, you will need to think this through. A lawyer acts in a professional capacity when he acts as an insolvency lawyer. So this would, on English law principles, mean that the LLP was also involved as under UK law, a limited partner of an LLP acts on behalf of a LLP with authority in his professional actions. So, my own view is that you would have a valid cause of action against the LLP on English law principles, which would enable you to sue the LLP in England. This would then enable you to bring the whole action in London with access to the higher UK damages and potentially punitive damages. This analysis is based on your stat ement that the his action was personal "as Insolvency lawyer of a German debtor company". On English law principles, the German lawyer would have been acting professionally and this enables you to sue the LLP and everyone else in the UK.
Expert:  Buachaill replied 2 years ago.
3. Be aware that under the EU Regulation, once one Defendant can be sued in a jurisdiction such as the UK, then all defendants can be sued there. That is why if you can sue the LLP in London, you can also sue the German lawyer there.