West Law Report

Result of abandoning domicile of choice

Posted in Times Law Report by mrkooenglish on June 26, 2008

From The TimesJune 18, 2008

Result of abandoning domicile of choice
Barlow Clowes International Ltd (in Liquidation) and Others v Henwood in the Court of Appeal
Court of Appeal

Published June 18, 2005

Barlow Clowes International Ltd (in Liquidation) and Others v Henwood

Before Lord Justice Waller, Lady Justice Arden and Lord Justice Moore-Bick

Judgment May 23, 2008

Where a person abandoned his domicile of choice by ceasing to reside in the relevant country and giving up his intention permanently to reside there, his domicile of origin revived as a matter of law and persisted until he acquired a domicile of choice elsewhere. The weight of evidence required to prove that he had acquired another domicile of choice was no greater than that which was required to show that one domicile of choice had superseded another. Where a person maintained homes in more than one country, however, the question had to be decided by reference to the quality of residence in each of those countries to ascertain in which country he had an intention permanently to reside.

The Court of Appeal so stated, inter alia, when allowing the appeal of Barlow Clowes International Ltd (in liquidation), Nigel Hamilton and Michael Jordan against a decision of Mr Justice Evans Lombe in the Bankruptcy Court ([2007] EWHC 1579(Ch)) that Peter Henwood was not domiciled in England and Wales when they presented a bankruptcy petition against him. The judge held that he had acquired a domicile of choice in Mauritius at the relevant time. Mr Geoffrey Vos, QC and Mr Andrew Ayres for the appellants; Mr Anthony White, QC and Miss Samantha Knights for Mr Henwood.

LORD JUSTICE WALLER said that Mr Henwood had a domicile of origin in England. He then acquired a domicile of choice in the Isle of Man.

His case was abandonment by acquisition of domicile of choice in Mauritius but the evidence did not establish that. The evidence did, however, establish abandonment of his domicile of choice in the Isle of Man. Thus his domicile of origin revived The judge was in error in thinking that a domicile of choice could be lost only by the acquisition of another domicile of choice. A domicile of choice could be abandoned and, if abandoned, the domicile of origin revived. Because the domicile of origin revived there was no compulsion to find the acquisition of another domicile of choice.

The evidence did not establish the requisite intention by Mr Henwood to establish a domicile of choice elsewhere.

Lady Justice Arden and Lord Justice Moore-Bick agreed.

Solicitors: Clifford Chance LLP; Alan Taylor & Co.

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