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
  • The test applied by the court
  • When has the court found 'exceptional circumstances'?
  • Making an application to court for an anti-arbitration injunction

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 national courts.

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, paras [51]–[52]) and the jurisdiction under sections 44 and 72 of the Arbitration Act 1996 (AA 1996).

However, consideration should be given to whether the English court is the correct court from which to seek the injunction. The power to grant an anti-arbitration injunction usually rests with the court of the seat of the arbitration. In Weissfisch v Julius, the Court of Appeal held that:

  1. the natural consequence of the agreement in question was that any issues as to the validity of the unusual provisions of the arbitration clauses would fall to be resolved by the law of the seat of arbitration (in Weissfisch v Julius, Swiss law)

  2. this accorded with the principles of the law of international arbitration under the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (New