Practice and Procedure


PUBLISHED December 10, 2003

An entire judgment was not precluded from registration and enforcement in the United Kingdom under s.5 Protection of Trading Interests Act 1980 because it contained a sum for multiple damages, as it was possible to separate the sum that represented multiple damages and exclude that amount from the judgment entered in the UK.Appeal by the defendants ('P') from the judgment of Nelson J on 28 February 2003 dismissing P's appeal against an order of Master Whitaker that awarded the claimant ('L') judgment against P under CPR Part 24. L was a boxing champion. By an action in brought in New York, he had been sued by P as his managers and promoters. Damages were awarded to L on his counterclaim for fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract ,and racketeering contrary to a United States statute, the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organisations Act ('the RICO Act'). The counterclaim was made under 12 different heads, six of which alleged racketeering under the RICO Act. The relevant section of the RICO Act provided for damages under that Act to be trebled. However the New York judgment did not treble those damages and L filed a motion requesting amendment of the award accordingly. Meanwhile L sought to enforce the New York judgment in the UK. P argued that because, under the RICO Act, L had an automatic entitlement to have his damages trebled, the entire judgment was precluded from registration and enforcement in the UK under s.5 Protection of Trading Interests Act 1980. Master Whitaker rejected that argument and summary judgment was entered for L. On appeal the judge upheld the master's decision. He held that: (i) the New York judgment contained no multiple element in respect of the award of compensation for racketeering; (ii) the trebling of damages under the RICO Act was clearly not automatic; and (iii) the New York judgment was not one "for" multiple damages but one which, if amended, would contain multiple damages. Accordingly the judge made a conditional order under CPR Part 24 that summary judgment be entered upon L withdrawing his motion for the New York order to be amended. Before the Court of Appeal, the issue was whether the entire sum was unenforceable under s.5 of the 1980 Act or whether it was enforceable save for the RICO Act element. P contended that the enire New York judgment was unenforceable by reason of s.5 of the 1980 Act. L submitted that the judgment was enforceable save for the RICO Act element.HELD: Section 5(3) of the 1980 Act made clear that Act's hostility to awards of multiple damages by barring their enforcement in the UK. The 1980 Act precluded enforcement of the RICO Act element of the judgment. The rest of the New York judgment sought to be enforced was for ordinary compensatory damages for private causes of action similar to those available under English law. It was desirable and appropriate that enforcement of the non-RICO Act elements should be open to L unless plainly precluded by the 1980 Act. Raulin v Fischer (1911) 2 KB 93 indicated that if only part of a judgment fell within an exception to enforceability, the court should consider whether the unexceptionable part could readily be distinguished for purposes of enforcement. If so, the separable part should be enforced. The sensible approach to s.5 of the 1980 Act was to read s.5(1) as precluding proceedings for recovery at common law only to the extent that the judgment sought was arrived at by multiplying a sum assessed as compensation for the loss and damage sustained by the person in whose favour the judgment was given. The appeal would be dismissed save to the extent that the judge's decision and order permitted enforcement in respect of the basic compensatory award under the RICO Act, excluding only the multiple element. Judgment was entered for L for the enforceable element of the New York judgment less the award of damages under the RICO Act.Appeal dismissed.

[2003] EWCA Civ 1758