Interaction between applications for an interim mandatory injunction and for a stay of proceedings under the Arbitration Act 1996

In Jacobs E&C Limited v Laker Vent Engineering Ltd [2015] EWHC 4818 (TCC), the High Court considered the interaction between two applications which had been made to the court in respect of a dispute which was subject to arbitral proceedings: (1) an application for an interim mandatory injunction in support of arbitration under sections 44(2)(e) and 44(3) of the Arbitration Act 1996 (the “1996 Act”); and (2) a cross-application for a stay of the injunction proceedings pursuant to section 9 of the 1996 Act.

High Court provides guidance on grounds to make an application to (1) suspend enforcement of an award and (2) provide security pending a set aside application

In Y v S [2015] EWHC 612 (Comm), the Commercial Court considered the circumstances in which it will: (1) make an order suspending the enforcement of an arbitral award; and (2) make an order for the provision of security pending an application challenging an award.

This case confirms that parties will not be able to obtain pre-emptive orders preventing enforcement on a worldwide basis or limited to England and Wales in conjunction with applications to challenge arbitral awards under sections 67, 68 and 69 of the Arbitration Act 1996 (the “1996 Act”).  The appropriate time to apply for such an order is when the successful party takes steps to enforce the award.  Parties who wish to obtain security whilst such an application is pending should apply under section 70(7) of the 1996 Act.  Whether such security will be granted is at the court’s discretion and the court will likely consider the strength of the challenge to the award and if there would be any prejudice caused if no security is granted.

The power to grant anti-suit injunctions where arbitration is on foot

In considering an application to continue an anti-suit injunction restraining proceedings brought in China where arbitral proceedings were on foot, the Commercial Court has confirmed in Southport Success SA v Tsingshan Holding Group Co Ltd [2015] EWHC 1974 (Comm) that the power to grant an anti-suit injunction under section 37 of the Senior Courts Act 1981 is distinct from that arising under section 44 of the Arbitration Act 1996.

High Court refuses to grant anti-arbitration injunction

In AmTrust Europe Ltd v Trust Risk Group SpA [2015] EWHC 1927 (Comm), the High Court confirmed that the English court has jurisdiction to make an injunction restraining the pursuit of arbitration proceedings, notwithstanding that the seat of that arbitration was is in another jurisdiction.  Such power should, however, only be exercised in exceptional circumstances and with caution.  

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