A recently reported case features an unusual application for a stay issued, after the conclusion of the trial, but before judgment. The applicant sought a stay based on a parallel proceedings in Georgia in which his counterparts were requesting that the Georgian courts also suspend proceedings pending the English decision.
The English court refused the application. It found the existence of parallel proceedings to be of the Defendant’s own making and took a dim view of the Defendant’s “pirouetting between jurisdictions”. Continue reading
This case provides a helpful review of the law on anti-enforcement injunctions. It also emphasizes the dangers of delay in applying for injunctive relief in a jurisdictional context.
The facts: Mr Tanoh was employed by Ecobank under an Executive Employment Agreement (EEA), providing for London arbitration under UNCITRAL Rules. After the termination of his employment, Mr Tanoh commenced proceedings against Ecobank before a Labour Tribunal in the Togolese Republic in April 2014 for unfair dismissal, and before Adidjan Commercial Court in Cote D’Ivoire in May 2014 for defamation. Ecobank challenged jurisdiction in each set of proceedings, but was unsuccessful. Ecobank also lost on the substance in both cases, and began appeals.
Ecobank did not seek an anti-suit injunction in the English courts, based on breach of the arbitration argument, to try to stop either the Togolese or the Ivorian proceedings. Continue reading
This is a cautionary tale about the dangers of delay in applying for anti-suit injunctions.
The facts: The Claimant was the Charterer of the Vessel Kishore, and the Defendant Bank was the holder of a bill of lading. The time bar for any cargo claim expired on 11 January 2015. The Claimant maintained that the bill of lading incorporated English law and arbitration clauses. The Defendant Bank, however, commenced proceedings in the Qingdao Maritime Court (China) in March 2014, and ship arrest proceedings in the Tianjin Maritime Court (China) in September 2014. On 24 November 2014, the Claimant decided to challenge Chinese jurisdiction before the Qingdao court, on the grounds of the English law arbitration clause. The challenge was rejected and the Claimant appealed. However, the Claimant did not apply for an anti-suit injunction in the English courts at the same time. The application to the English courts to restrain the Defendant Bank from the Chinese proceedings was not made until 8 July 2015, whilst the parties were still awaiting the outcome of the appeal in China. No arbitration proceedings had been brought in England by this stage, and would have been time barred from January 2015. Continue reading