Charles Fussell & Co LLP has been instructed to advise a private individual in the enforcement of a judgment obtained in the Democratic Republic of Congo against the local indirect subsidiary of a major London-based international telecommunications group. The telecommunications group and/or the indirect subsidiary briefly obtained a stay on a share auction scheduled as part of the enforcement of the judgment, due to alleged irregularities in the original judgment. The judgment creditor alleges that irregularities may have tainted the obtaining of that stay. The judgment creditor wishes for enforcement to proceed, and for the question of irregularities in the obtaining of the stay to be investigated.
The case will potentially raise numerous interesting points of law, including the extent of an English parent company’s liability for any irregular acts of a subsidiary abroad, the degree of proximity required for an indirect subsidiary to be considered a subsidiary, and the defences to any liability established. The determination of such questions will be of practical importance to UK companies with offshore subsidiaries engaged in local legal proceedings in developing jurisdictions.