About Belinda McRae

Belinda advises on all areas of commercial law. She has a particular specialisation in international arbitration (both commercial and investment), private international law and public international law. She is qualified in both England and Australia. Find out more about Belinda.


This briefing note explores some of the alternatives to the Brussels I Regime that may be introduced if the UK were to vote to leave the EU.

The law relating to civil jurisdiction and judgments has undergone substantial change in recent years, with the entry into force of the Brussels I Regulation (Recast) (‘the Recast Regulation’) on 10 January 2015. That Regulation is the latest in a line of European legislative instruments governing both the allocation of civil and commercial jurisdiction among EU member state courts and the recognition and enforcement of their judgments. This regulatory regime, which has been in force in the UK in various guises since 1987, is likely to be significantly modified, if not entirely replaced, in the event of Brexit.

Read the full note here.

Anti-suit application grounded: Magellan Spirit [2016] EWHC 454 (Comm)

Three members of 20 Essex Street were involved on both sides of a recent application for an anti-suit injunction in Magellan Spirit ApS v Vitol SA [2016] EWHC 454 (Comm).  The central issue in the case was whether there was an agreement conferring jurisdiction on the English High Court for the purposes of, among other things, the Lugano Convention.

In refusing the anti-suit injunction, Leggatt J held that even if a written consensus could  satisfy Article 23 of the Lugano Convention, it was not enough for an anti-suit injunction.   This is also a case in which delay in applying for an anti-suit injunction was a problem for the applicants (see too our post on Ecobank Transnational v Tanoh).  Continue reading

Anti-suit injunctions after Gazprom

Sara Masters QC and Belinda McRae recently wrote a piece on the CJEU’s decision on the Brussels Regulation Gazprom in (2015) 30(8) Butterworths Journal of International Banking and Financial Law 516. Here’s a summary of their thoughts …

The Gazprom case (C-536/13) is the latest in the line of cases that have explored the scope of the arbitration exception in Article 1(2)(d) of the Brussels I Regulation (“Brussels Regulation”). This was the first case heard by the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) after the Brussels I Regulation (Recast) (“Recast Regulation”) came into force on 10 January 2015, which includes a new recital that purports to clarify the scope of that exception. After the controversial opinion of Advocate-General Wathelet of 4 December 2014 on the effect of the Recast Regulation, the CJEU’s judgment in the Gazprom case was hotly anticipated. However, the CJEU unsurprisingly declined to engage with the Advocate General’s views, leaving the impact of the Recast Regulation on anti-suit injunctions to be determined on another day. Continue reading