UK: UKSC decides mass tort claim against UK parent arising from subsidiary’s activity is arguable

In Okpabi v Royal Dutch Shell [2021] UKSC 3, the UK Supreme Court allowed an appeal against a Court of Appeal ruling that a tort claim against a parent company for environmental damage allegedly caused by one of its subsidiaries was not arguable. The Court of Appeal made significant procedural errors in assessing this.

Coupled with the UKSC’s earlier decision in Vedanta, the case may further increase the litigation risk that UK domiciled parent companies face before domestic courts as, at the jurisdiction stage, arguability will largely be assessed on the claimants' pleaded case. 

We take a closer look at the ruling in Okpabi in a briefing note that you can access via the link below.