*Bouhadi v Breish

Conflict of laws – Foreign government. The Commercial Court adjourned a case concerning a dispute over which of two regimes was recognised as the government of Libya following the fall of Colonel Gaddafi in 2011. The dispute arose in respect of Libya's Sovereign Wealth Fund (LIA), which had assets of approximately US$67bn and in circumstances where, shortly before the trial was due to start, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office had written to the court and the parties stating Her Majesty's Government's (HMG) position on the question of recognition. The court held, on a point of principle, that where the court had received a formal communication from the British government, it was that communication which was the voice of HMG for legal purposes and it was not open to the court to set aside the letter and look at other material in an attempt to identify what the position of HMG actually was. In the circumstances, it would be both contrary to principle and premature at the present time to rule on the issue as to the chairmanship of the LIA.

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