The UK Experience in Perspective
Corporations, Globalisation and the Law series
Chapter 5: Reception of overseas companies by the English legal system
1 1 THE INCLUSIVE TRADITION English law has a long history of affording recognition to foreign entities which have not incorporated as such under the processes provided by English law. Witness the ancient House of Lords precedent of Henriques v Dutch West India Co, where the English court gave recognition to a company which had been incorporated in Holland.2 Even where overt discrimination existed within the English legal system – see, for example, the bar on foreign companies owning land in the UK – such negative treatment has long been ended.3 In more recent times, we find a useful illustration of this embracing tradition at work in the case of Arab Monetary Fund v Hashim (No. 3).4 Here the AMF was allowed to bring proceedings in English law even though it had not been incorporated under English law. The AMF was set up by treaty and had been afforded status as a legal entity by a number of friendly Arab states, with the result that the facilities of English law were made available to it. This House of Lords majority ruling seemed to extend the parameters of the common law. This decision was taken further by the Foreign Corporations Act 1991, which made provision for the recognition of entities incorporated in territories not recognised as states by English law.5 1 For scholarly treatment of this subject, see F. Tansinda, chapter 12 in D. Milman (ed.), Regulating Enterprise (1999) (Hart). See also his article in (1997) 18 Co Law 98. Gower and...
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