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Case details

Attorney General of the Virgin Islands (Respondent) v Global Water Associates Ltd (Appellant) (British Virgin Islands)

Case ID: JCPC 2018/0107

Jurisdiction: The Court of Appeal of the British Virgin Islands

Case summary


Whether the profits which the Appellant would have made under a Management, Operation and Maintenance Agreement ("MOMA") with the Respondent are too remote in law to be claimed as damages for the Respondent’s breach of a Design Build Agreement ("DBA") entered into at the same time. Whether the arbitrators should have found that the Appellant was entitled to damages for breach of an implied term in the MOMA.


The Appellant and the Respondent entered into two contracts on 19 September 2006: a DBA and an MOMA. Under the DBA, the Appellant agreed to design and build a water plant and the Respondent agreed to provide a prepared project site suitable for the installation. Under the MOMA, the Respondent engaged the Appellant to manage, maintain and operate the plant for 12 years effective from the commencement of the agreement.

The Respondent failed to provide a prepared site and the Appellant terminated the DBA. The Appellant claimed damages for breach of the DBA, or alternatively, for breach of an implied term of the MOMA, the profits it would have made under the MOMA. It referred the claim to arbitration.

The arbitrators found that the Respondent breached the DBA but rejected the claim for damages on grounds of remoteness. The arbitrators further rejected the claim that there was an implied term in the MOMA. The Appellant sought remission or setting aside of the award on ground of error of law. The High Court ordered the claim be remitted for assessment of damages. The Court of Appeal reversed that order. The Appellant now appeals to the JCPC.



Global Water Associates Ltd


Attorney General of the Virgin Islands



Lord Hodge, Lord Wilson, Lord Lloyd-Jones, Lady Arden, Lord Sales

Hearing start date

12 Mar 2020

Hearing finish date

12 Mar 2020

Watch hearing
12 Mar 2020 Morning session Afternoon session

Judgment details

Judgment date

13 July 2020

Neutral citation

[2020] UKSC 18