English Court reiterates warning not to delay application for anti-suit injunction, regardless of jurisdictional challenge in the foreign proceedings

In ADM Asia-Pacific Trading PTE Ltd v PT Budi Semesta Satria [2016] EWHC 1427, the English Commercial Court rejected an application for an anti-suit injunction on the basis of undue delay.

This decision mirrors the Court's approach in Ecobank v Tanoh and Essar v Bank of China, which we previously covered here and here. It also reiterates that the Court's discretion to reject an application for an anti-suit injunction is not limited to instances where the delay is unconscionable or has caused prejudice to the respondent.

The judgment confirms, once again, that parties facing foreign proceedings commenced in breach of an arbitration agreement should bring an anti-suit injunction application as soon as possible after receiving notice of the foreign proceedings, regardless of any jurisdictional challenge in the foreign proceedings.

Continue reading

French Supreme Court refuses to apply a unilateral jurisdiction clause

In a recent decision, the French Supreme Court (Cour de cassation) has again refused to apply a unilateral jurisdiction clause. A unilateral jurisdiction clause requires one party to bring proceedings in one jurisdiction only, while the other may choose to bring proceedings in other jurisdictions.

The decision, which comes after the much-discussed 2012 Supreme Court judgment in the Rothschild case (Cass. 1. Civ, 26 September 2012)(see our previous blog post here), is a further reminder of the need to give careful consideration to the validity of dispute resolution provisions in the possible jurisdiction of any future proceedings when drafting contracts.

This decision (and the decision in Rothschild) are significant in the context of unilateral jurisdiction clauses. However, and notwithstanding the fact that the French courts have not had a chance to consider the issue in relation to arbitration since the Rothschild decision, there is nothing to suggest that the same approach would be taken with regard to clauses containing an arbitration agreement with an option to litigate in one particular jurisdiction, or an exclusive jurisdiction clause with an option for one party to bring arbitration proceedings (so-called hybrid dispute resolution clauses). As such, a hybrid arbitration clause may be an appropriate option in circumstances where there is a nexus with France and one of the parties wishes to have a degree of flexibility regarding the forum in which disputes will be heard.

Cour de cassation, chambre civile 1, 25 mars 2015, 13-27.264

Continue reading

UK Supreme Court confirms power to issue an anti-suit injunction even when no arbitration is underway or proposed

The Supreme Court has confirmed that the English court has jurisdiction to injunct the continuation or commencement of foreign proceedings brought in breach of an arbitration agreement, even in the absence of an actual, proposed or intended arbitration (Ust-Kamenogorsk Hydropower Plant JSC (Appellant) v AES Ust-Kamenogorsk Hydropower Plant LLP (Respondent) [2013] UKSC 35). Following the now famous West Tankers¹ decision, it should be noted that this power only applies against jurisdictions which fall outside the Brussels Regulation and Lugano Convention (ostensibly, non-EU countries). Continue reading