The effect of West Tankers in arbitration [Archived]

The following Arbitration practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • The effect of West Tankers in arbitration [Archived]
  • Practical implications of West Tankers
  • West Tankers—the background
  • Brussels I and the Brussels I (recast)
  • The ECJ's judgment
  • The arbitrations
  • The Commercial Court
  • Reform of Brussels I—the Brussels I (recast)
  • Anti-suit arbitral awards

The effect of West Tankers in arbitration [Archived]

ARCHIVED: This Practice Note has been archived and is not maintained.

Practical implications of West Tankers

In summary, the effect of the West Tankers story (so far) is:

  1. every court of an EU Member State seised of a dispute must determine whether it has jurisdiction to determine the dispute. It is contrary to Brussels I and the Brussels I (recast) for this power to be taken away from it by the courts of another Member State

  2. an arbitral tribunal has jurisdiction to award damages for breach of an obligation to arbitrate

In a case where jurisdictional issues may be argued between the parties (which is often the case), consider advising clients to seek a final award dealing with jurisdiction first and have that enforced and recognised by the court (the application would be made under the procedure set out in CPR 62). This will then prevent an inconsistent court judgment taking precedence, on the principle of issue estoppel. Subsequently, the parties can then proceed with the liability and quantum aspects in the arbitration.

West Tankers—the background

In 2000, West Tankers' vessel, the 'Front Comor', collided with a pier in Sicily belonging to Erg Petroli SpA (Erg). The charterparty provided for arbitration in London governed by English law. Erg commenced arbitration in London to recover its losses arising out of the collision. West Tankers

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