Anti-arbitration injunctions (England and Wales)
Produced in partnership with Simmons & Simmons LLP
Anti-arbitration injunctions (England and Wales)

The following Arbitration guidance note Produced in partnership with Simmons & Simmons LLP provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Anti-arbitration injunctions (England and Wales)
  • The court's jurisdiction to grant an anti-arbitration injunction
  • The effect of West Tankers on anti-arbitration injunctions
  • Anti-arbitration injunctions—the test applied by the court
  • When has the court found 'exceptional circumstances'?
  • Making an application to court for an anti-arbitration injunction

BREXIT: As of exit day (31 January 2020), the UK is no longer an EU Member State. However, in accordance with the Withdrawal Agreement, the UK has entered an implementation period, during which it continues to be subject to EU law. This has an impact on this Practice Note. For further guidance, see Practice Note: Brexit—arbitration law and practice in England and Wales and News Analysis: Brexit Bulletin—key updates, research tips and resources.

A party may wish to obtain an anti-arbitration injunction where an arbitration has been commenced by a counterparty in breach of an agreed dispute resolution process, for example, by commencing the arbitration in the wrong seat, or where the parties had agreed to refer disputes to the exclusive jurisdiction of specific national courts. This Practice Note considers the approach of the courts of England and Wales (England and English are used for convenience) to the granting of anti-suit relief in this context.

The court's jurisdiction to grant an anti-arbitration injunction

The court's jurisdiction to grant an anti-arbitration injunction arises from its inherent powers under section 37 of the Senior Courts Act 1981 (SCA 1981) (Elektrim v Vivendi; Minister of Finance v IPIC) and the jurisdiction under sections 44 and 72 of the Arbitration Act 1996 (AA 1996). Generally speaking, the jurisdiction under SCA 1981, s 37 is