§ '(1) Proceedings arising out of any act or omission (or proposed act or omission) of a designated agency, transferee body or the competent authority in the discharge or purported discharge of any of its functions under this Act may be brought in the High Court or the Court of Session.
§ (2) At the end of Schedule 5 to the Civil Jurisdiction and Judgments Act 1982 (exclusion of certain proceedings from the provisions of Schedule 4 to that Act which determine whether the courts in each part of the United Kingdom have jurisdiction in proceedings) there shall be inserted—
§ "Proceedings concerning financial services agencies
§ Brought up, and read the First time.4.50 pm
§ The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (Mr. Michael Howard)
I beg to move, That the clause be read a Second time.
§ Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Harold Walker)
With this it will be convenient also to discuss the following Government amendments Nos. 27 to 31, and 88 to 92.
Amendment No. 175, in page 142, line 35, at end insert—
'(7) If the agency is a limited company incorporated in England. it must establish a place of business in Scotland or take such other steps as will render it amenable to the jurisdiction of the Scottish Courts'.
§ Government amendments Nos. 182 and 231.
§ Mr. Howard
A number of hon. Members have written to me about points which were raised by the Law Society of Scotland concerning the Bill. I am grateful to the society for the detailed consideration which it has given the Bill. The Government have always made it clear that the Bill would take account of the differences between the English and the Scottish financial and legal systems and that amendments would be tabled to fulfil this commitment.
The new clause is designed to remove doubts as to whether actions could be brought against a designated agency, transferee body or competent authority in a part of the United Kingdom in which it did not have a place of business, or a registered office. There was particular doubt about whether any such organisation could be subjected to the jurisdiction of the Scottish courts. The Government have decided to bring forward this new clause which makes it clear that action against the relevant bodies may be brought in the courts in any part of the United Kingdom.
The other amendments are mainly technical and designed to bring certain of the provisions in the Bill into line with the procedures and terminology used in the Scottish legal system.
The aims behind the amendment tabled in the names of the right hon. and learned Member for Monklands, 523 East (Mr. Smith) and the hon. Member for Dagenham (Mr. Gould) are I believe already achieved by the Government new clause.
§ Mr. Alex Fletcher (Edinburgh, Central)
Will my hon. and learned Friend confirm that it has always been the intention of the Department and its Ministers — even before his tenure of office — to ensure that the differences in Scottish law are catered for in the legislation?
§ Mr. Howard
No one will know better than my hon. Friend that that is the case. We owe much to my hon. Friend for his achievements in respect of this legislation. I am happy to confirm that the intention was always as he stated it to be.
§ Question put and agreed to.
§ Clause read a Second time, and added to the Bill.