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If asked, most lawyers and laymen would have some concept of what it means to be ‘sued’. But the question of what being ‘sued’ actually means was one that the House of Lords had to wrestle with in Canada Trust Company & Others v Stolzenberg and Others (No 2). Judgment was delivered on 12 October.The case involved the interpretation of Articles 2 and 6 of the Lugano Convention on jurisdiction and the enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters. One of the questions that the House of Lords had to determine was whether a party was sued, for the purposes of Articles 2 and 6, when the writ (now claim form) was issued or when the writ was served. For these purposes the Lugano Convention is in the same terms as the Brussels Convention. The House of Lords unanimously held that a party was sued for the purposes of the Lugano Convention when the writ was issued. This issue will be particularly important in multi-party litigation where proposed defendants are domiciled in jurisdictions where either the Lugano or Brussels Conventions apply. It will also apply where, as in the Canada Trust case, there are proposed defendants who are domiciled in a combination of convention and non-convention jurisdictions.

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