The Commercial Court handed down judgment today in Samsung v LG Display  EWHC 1429 (Comm), declining to take jurisdiction in Samsung’s claim against LG Display for contribution under the Civil Liability (Contribution) Act 1978. Samsung sought contribution towards its settlement of a cartel damages claim brought by 42 English local authorities based on the European Commission’s finding of a cartel involving both Samsung and LG Display (amongst others) in relation to LCD panels.
The judgment considered the questions of (i) the right gateway for contribution claims brought after the end of proceedings (when the Part 20 gateway is no longer available), (ii) the appropriate forum for such a claim and (iii) non-disclosure on the application to serve out.
The Court accepted Samsung’s arguments that the tort gateway is the correct gateway for contribution claims, and that its requirements were satisfied in this case. It also found that, if that analysis were wrong, the restitution gateway would have been available, and its requirements were also satisfied in this case. Because either the tort or restitution gateways were in principle available, the Court found that the statutory gateway, which is residual in character, was not available.
Although the Court found that Samsung’s claim fell within a gateway, however, it found that the courts of the Far East provided a more appropriate forum for resolving what the Court characterised as the issue in the case, namely the relative responsibility between joint tortfeasors, both of which were based in the Far East. Accordingly, it declined to take jurisdiction over that claim.
The judgment is here.
Daniel Piccinin (instructed by Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP) acted for LG Display.
Thomas Plewman QC, Robert O’Donoghue QC and Tom Pascoe (instructed by Covington & Burling LLP) acted for the Samsung respondents.