ENGLISH COURT REFUSES DEFENDANT’S PLEA TO EXERCISE DISCRETION AND GRANTS ANTI-SUIT INJUNCTION

In VTB Bank PJSC v Valeri Dzhanibekovich Mejlumyan [2021] EWHC 1386 (Comm), the English High Court made final an interim anti-suit injunction granted earlier this year (see our post here).   There was no dispute between the parties on the existence of a valid and binding arbitration agreement and the Court did not accept that the claimant’s alleged delay in seeking the anti-suit injunction, participation in local proceedings or conduct were otherwise sufficient to exercise the court’s discretion to refuse the anti-suit injunction.

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ENGLISH HIGH COURT CONSIDERS RARE APPLICATION UNDER S32 ARBITRATION ACT 1996 TO DETERMINE PRELIMINARY POINT OF JURISDICTION

In the recent decision in Armada Ship Management (S) Pte Ltd v Schiste Oil and Gas Nigeria Ltd [2021] EWHC 1094 (Comm) the English High Court (the “Court“) considered a rare application under s32 Arbitration Act 1996 (the “Act“) to determine a preliminary point of jurisdiction in circumstances where the arbitration clause was unclear on how the sole arbitrator was to be appointed. Although the Court rejected the application, the decision provides a rare glimpse of judicial treatment of applications under s32, including the circumstances where an application would be likely to succeed.

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ENGLISH COURT OF APPEAL DETERMINES CLAIMS AGAINST INDIVIDUALS FALL OUTSIDE AN ARBITRATION CLAUSE IN A SHARE PURCHASE AGREEMENT

In the recent case of Manek and others v IIFL Wealth (UK) Ltd and others [2021] EWCA Civ 625 (available here) the English Court of Appeal rejected a challenge to the jurisdiction of the English Commercial Court made on the basis that (amongst other issues) the claims fell within an arbitration clause. The Court of Appeal decided that the relevant claims in deceit against individual majority shareholders did not in fact fall within the arbitration clause and could properly be heard by the English Commercial Court.

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JUDICIAL COMMITTEE OF THE PRIVY COUNCIL FINDS THAT NO EXPRESS ALLEGATION, CONSIDERATION OR FINDING OF ‘SUBSTANTIAL INJUSTICE’ IS REQUIRED TO ESTABLISH A SERIOUS PROCEDURAL IRREGULARITY

In the recent decision of RAV Bahamas Ltd and another v Therapy Beach Club Incorporated the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (the “Privy Council”) considered that s90 of the Bahamas Arbitration Act 2009 (the “Bahamas Arbitration Act”) – which provides for challenges to arbitration awards on the grounds of serious irregularity – did not require an express allegation, consideration and finding of “substantial injustice” for a serious irregularity to be established.

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HIGH COURT CONSIDERS TWO S69 APPEALS ON QUESTION OF LAW WITH ONE APPEAL SUCCESSFUL

In the recent decision of Navision Shipping A/S v Precious Pearls Ltd and Conti Lines Shipping NV v Navision Shipping A/S [2021] EWHC 558 (Comm), the High Court (the “Court”) considered two appeals on points of law under s69 Arbitration Act 1996 (the “Act”) by Navision Shipping A/S (the “Navision Appeal”) and Conti Lines Shipping (the “Conti Lines Appeal”) in relation to two related arbitral awards following the detention of a vessel in Conakry, Guinea. Whilst the Court dismissed the Conti Lines Appeal, the Navision Appeal was notably successful on one of the points of law raised.

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ENGLISH COURT ALLOWS SECTION 69 APPEAL ON A POINT OF LAW, BLOCKING PARTY’S ATTEMPT TO REVISIT PERMISSION TO APPEAL ONCE GRANTED

In the recent decision of CVLC Three Carrier Corp and another company v Arab Maritime Petroleum Transport Co [2021] EWHC 551 (Comm) (available here), the English High Court allowed an appeal on a point of law under s69 of the Arbitration Act 1996 (the “Act”).

The Court provided guidance on two significant issues: (i) whether the permission to appeal an award under s69, can be revisited after it has been granted and, (ii) how the Court should identify the relevant question of law when granting permission under s69.

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HSF CONTRIBUTES UK ARBITRATION CHAPTER TO LEXOLOGY’S GETTING THE DEAL THROUGH

Partner Craig Tevendale, Professional Support Consultant Vanessa Naish and Professional Support Lawyer Rebecca Warder have jointly authored the UK Arbitration chapter to Lexology’s Getting the Deal Through. The Chapter contains expert local insight into the jurisdiction’s arbitration law and institutions, providing essential “need to know” answers to the arbitration issues and questions facing corporations and counsel.

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MALAWI BECOMES 167TH CONTRACTING STATE TO THE NEW YORK CONVENTION

Malawi has become the 167th Contracting State to the 1958 New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (the ‘Convention’). On 4 March 2021, Malawi deposited its instrument of accession to the Convention with the UN Secretary General. In accordance with article XII (2), the Convention will enter into force for Malawi on 2 June 2021.

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