Location: United States

TopCo liability panel


Recent years have seen an increased importance placed on TopCo liability claims - claims where a parent company, a company at the top of the supply chain, or an investor can be liable for the actions of a subsidiary, supplier or investee company.

On Wednesday 10 April 2019, the Supreme Court handed down its much anticipated judgment in Vedanta Resources PLC and another (Defendants/Appellants) v Lungowe and others (Claimants/Respondents) [2019] UKSC 20. In handing down its decision in this jurisdictional case, the Supreme Court confirmed that:

  • a duty of care can exist between a parent company and those affected by the operations of its subsidiaries
  • the existence of that duty is likely to be a question of fact in each case
  • the existence of a duty may be suitable for determination at a summary hearing (such as a jurisdiction challenge), but this will depend on the circumstances of the case

On Tuesday 25 June we will host a panel discussion that will look at recent developments relating to TopCo liability claims. The discussion will consider TopCo liability in the context of tortious claims, where it is said that a TopCo has assumed a duty of care to a Claimant who is affected by the actions or inaction of another company it is said to control. We will cover the following topics:

  • Is there a current trend towards increasing liability of TopCos?
    • Legally
    • Societal/ Impression/ public opinion
  • Does this discourage companies from being transparent and doing the right thing?
  • Are companies being forced into exercising increasing control from the centre, and is this a sustainable or desirable business model?
  • Will cautious actors (looking to avoid attracting TopCo liability) end up being excluded from certain sectors geographies?

The panel has been designed to take into account a number of different perspectives, and hopefully spark some interesting debate. They include representatives from business, industry association and investor perspectives as well as an academic perspective.

[Speakers to be confirmed]


Registration - 6:00pm
Panel start - 6:30pm
Panel finish - 8:00pm
Drinks and light refreshments will be served after the discussion.



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