Foreign Currency: Claims, Judgments and Damages
Claims against limited or common funds
The principal problem with which we have been concerned so far is the identification of the correct currency in which to assess the value of a claim or in which to give judgment or make an award. There are certain cases where that is not so much the end of the problem as the beginning. Those are situations where there is a limited fund for distribution among a number of claimants when there are or may be insufficient assets in the fund to meet all the liabilities to which it is subject. Here is also the practical consideration that the objective of avoiding a conversion if at all possible is unlikely to be capable of achievement. As Mann points out,1 there is an essential difference between this class of case and individual claims, because of the need not only to deal with the currency problem but to preserve equity between competing claimants by treating them equally and uniformly. In order to achieve this result, it is necessary that there is (i) a common currency from which all debts can be satisfied and (ii) (probably) a single date on which the conversion is to take place.