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Lehman Brothers Finance A.G. (in liquidation) v (1) Klaus Tschira Stiftung GmbH & (2) Dr H C Tschira Beteiligungs GmbH & Co KG

The problem of parallel proceedings before English and Swiss courts has come before the Chancery Division as part of the ongoing resolution of disputes arising from the failure of Lehman Bros. The liquidator of Lehman Bros Finance AG is disputing a claim by two German companies for over €411 million and cross-claiming over €186 million. In his judgment delivered on 6 August 2014, David Richards J considered whether to stay proceedings in England which had been started after Swiss conciliation proceedings but before Swiss court proceedings, a question which involved deciding an issue on which there is no direct authority, namely the application of Article 30 of the Lugano Convention to Swiss conciliation proceedings. He concluded that the conciliation proceedings did fall within the scope of that provision; but as the Zurich Supreme Court had meanwhile dismissed the Swiss action on the grounds that the matter was subject to an exclusive jurisdiction clause in favour of England he has adjourned the outcome of the stay application pending clarification of the Swiss appeal position.

Alexander Layton QC and Malcolm Jarvis acted for Lehman Bros Finance AG (instructed by Field Fisher Waterhouse LLP).