Joseph Barrett successful in £1.2 billion UK global visa network legal challenge


Teleperformance Contact Limited v Secretary of State for the Home Department and VF Worldwide Holding Limited [2023] EWHC 2481 (TCC)

The High Court (Constable J) has lifted the automatic suspension in respect of the c. £1.2 billion procurement for delivery of the UK’s global visa and immigration network.

The Claimant, TCL, was the incumbent provider of services to HMG and contended that injunctive relief should be granted in circumstances were losing the relevant contracts would lead to the loss of c. 71% of its global visas business, and in excess of 750 redundancies.

TCL served extensive evidence, advancing  wide-ranging arguments that loss of the contracts would significantly prejudice the capability of its corporate group to effectively compete for other opportunities in the global market for provision of visa and immigration services.

Based on its own extensive, direct experience of the market, VF Worldwide was able to provide detailed evidence demonstrating that a number of these allegations were unfounded.

Accepting the evidence and submissions of VF Worldwide, the Court comprehensively rejected TCL’s case, concluding that its witness evidence was (variously): “imprecise and vague”, “extremely vague” (§55), “surprising”, “most surprising” (§43), “overstated” (§46) and “considerably overstated” (§53)

The Judge held that damages would be an adequate remedy for the Claimant and that it followed that the Court should lift the suspension, irrespective of any possibility of an expedited trial.

The Court’s judgment provides important guidance on the Court’s approach to injunctive relief in circumstances where a claimant forms part of a larger corporate group, in particular the extent to which damage or prejudice suffered by other corporate group members may be relevant to the Court’s application of American Cyanamid principles. The Judge’s analysis will be of considerable interest to all commercial and public law practitioners who deal with injunction applications.

A copy of the judgment can be found here.

Joseph Barrett of 11KBW appeared successfully as sole counsel for VF Worldwide, instructed by DAC Beachcroft LLP.

The Claimant was represented by Sarah Hannaford KC of Keating Chambers and the Defendant was represented by Michael Bowsher KC and Ewen West of Monckton Chambers.