Current Law Cases

 

Scope

foreign jurisdictions; jurisdiction clauses; breach; principles governing grant of anti suit injunction

Case

Society of Lloyd's v White (No.2)

Court

(QBD (Comm Ct)) Commercial Court

Jurisdiction

 

Judgment

February 2, 2001

Judges

Cresswell, J.

Legislation

 

Reported

[2002] I.L.Pr. 11

Reference

Times, May 24, 1996

Abstract

W, a Lloyd's name, had joined S to an action in Australia in breach of an exclusive jurisdiction clause in his contract with S. W argued that the contract was vitiated by S's fraud. S sought a permanent anti suit injunction to restrain W from taking proceedings against it in Australia, in reliance upon the decision in v Jaffray (Unreported, November 3, 2000) which found that S had not committed fraud in its representations or failure to inform names or potential names of risks arising from asbestos related claims, Jaffray cited.

 

Held, granting the anti suit injunction, that the following principles were to be considered in an anti suit injunction application (1) cases involving exclusive jurisdiction clauses were to be  distinguished from those that did not and turned instead on the question of appropriate forum; (2) an English court had power to restrain a party over whom it had personal jurisdiction from prosecuting proceedings in a foreign court in breach of an exclusive jurisdiction clause; (3) parties to an exclusive jurisdiction agreement should be held to it as it was prima facie oppressive and vexatious to litigate otherwise than in the agreed forum; (4) in the absence of strong reasons to the contrary, having taken all the circumstances of the case into account, the court would enforce a valid exclusive jurisdiction agreement by anti suit injunction, or by staying domestic proceedings; (5) the same test applied whether the impeached proceedings were overseas in breach of an English exclusive jurisdiction agreement, or whether the proceedings were brought in England in breach of a foreign exclusive jurisdiction agreement; (6) the convenience of a particular forum was of little weight, since in exclusive jurisdiction agreement cases, the parties were taken to have considered such matters in their original choice of forum.

 

However, an anti suit injunction could be refused where independent third parties, not bound by the exclusive jurisdiction agreement, were involved in proceedings other than in the selected forum, and (7) applications for relief based on English exclusive jurisdiction agreements should be brought promptly and before the impeached proceedings became too far advanced.

Subject

Insurance

Keywords

Foreign jurisdictions, Injunctions, Jurisdiction clauses

Counsel

For S: Charles Aldous Q.C. and Stephen Houseman. For W: Not represented

Solicitors

For S: Freshfields

Transcript

 

Cases cited

Society of Lloyds v Jaffray (Unreported, November 3, 2000)