By a judgment of 25 May 2011, Tugendhat J has dismissed a jurisdiction challenge by the Defendants, Deccan Chargers and Deccan Chronicle (“Deccan”), and allowed Mr Wright’s claims to continue in England.
Mr Wright was appointed the CEO of the Deccan Chargers, an Indian Premier League cricket team. Deccan Chronicle is a major Indian media company and was Deccan Chargers’ parent company guarantor.
Mr Wright alleges he was constructively dismissed by Deccan Chargers in early 2009, by actions which undermined his authority, such as offering a player a role in the team without consulting him, and offering a pay increase to the player, contrary to the rules of the IPL. He also alleges that they deliberately created problems for him with the Indian visa system so that he was in fear of criminal prosecution in India.
He has sued for wrongful dismissal in England, claiming £10 million under the severance guarantee in his employment contract, and damages.
Deccan challenged jurisdiction in England, arguing that India was the more appropriate forum. Master Fontaine dismissed this challenge on 15 December 2010, and Deccan appealed against her decision. Tugendhat J has now dismissed Deccan’s appeal, on the grounds that the Master made no error of law and that her assessment of which was the appropriate forum could not be challenged.
Mr Wright was represented by Victor Joffe QC of Serle Court Chambers, and Thomas Raphael of 20 Essex Street. His solicitors were Maitland Hudson & Co.