New Judgment: NML Capital Ltd v Republic of Argentina  UKSC 31
06 Wednesday Jul 2011
On appeal from:  EWCA Civ 41
This appeal relates to bonds issued by the Republic of Argentina, in respect of which, together with all its other debt, Argentina declared a moratorium in December 2001. The appellant purchased the bonds at little over half their face value between June 2001 and September 2003 and then pursued the respondent for the return of their full principal value and interest in the New York courts. The appellant then sought to enforce summary judgment for over $284m against assets held by Argentina in England by bringing a common law action on the judgment in London. The Court of Appeal held that Argentina was protected by state immunity. The Supreme Court unanimously allowed the appeal. Lords Phillips and Clarke find that the claim falls within the scope of the State Immunity Act 1978, s 3(1)(a). A majority, Lords Mance, Collins and Walker disagree on this point but all agree that the appeal should in any event succeed by reason of the provisions of Civil Jurisdiction and Judgments Act 1982, s 31 and by Argentina’s submission and waiver of immunity in the bonds.