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Forum non conveniens in Laurent Garcia

Sarah Venn and Emma Hynes successfully applied for a stay of proceedings on the basis of forum non conveniens in Laurent Garcia v (1) BIH (UK) Limited; (2) Total Gabon S.A.; (3) Sigma Offshore SARL [2017] EWHC 739 (Admlty) on behalf of the Second Defendant, Total Gabon S.A.

The Claimant, a French national, was working as a professional diver on a coastal construction project located offshore of Gabon, West Africa and claimed damages for a very severe brain injury arising out of an accident that occurred on 14 June 2013, when his air supplies were broken and removed. The application was made in the alternative to an application for permission granted to the Claimant to serve out of jurisdiction to be set aside and this alternative application was successful. The decision considers the leading authorities on service out of jurisdiction and forum non conveniens and identifies factors material to the assessment of where the appropriate forum is.