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Palladyne International Asset Management [2017] (FSD 68 of 2016)

In a recent judgment in Palladyne International Asset Management [2017], Justice Segal held that the Cayman Grand Court had inherent jurisdiction to order a split trial in respect of a claim and counterclaim where preliminary issues arose.

The Plaintiff took out case management and jurisdiction summonses seeking orders that the jurisdiction summons be heard after the trial of the Plaintiff’s claim and to stay the counterclaim until after the trial; and seeking further declarations that the Court did not have jurisdiction over the counterclaim and it has been brought in breach of a jurisdiction agreement entered into between the parties. The Defendants argued that the counterclaim did no more than seek consequential declaratory relief that the Plaintiff be removed from office as director which they would be entitled to if their Defence was successful at trial. It would be unjust to stay the counterclaim until after the trial. Further, the counterclaim did not engage the jurisdiction clauses so the jurisdiction summons should not be heard before the counterclaim.

The Court held that only the declaratory relief of the counterclaim was to be dealt with at trial since it would save the time and expense while protecting the legitimate interests of the Defendants. If the Plaintiff’s claim succeeded, the counterclaim would require no further consideration. If the claim failed, the Court would be able to make declarations at the same time as it handed down judgment on the claim. Further relief required under the counterclaim could also be considered immediately following the judgment. Accordingly, the Court held that only the declaratory relief of the counterclaim should be heard with the Plaintiff’s claim and stayed all further proceedings on the counterclaim until after the judgment.  

Gavel

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