- Anti-suit injunction; Ralli Bros principle not engaged by exclusive jurisdiction clause (Dell Emerging Markets (EMEA) Ltd and others v Systems Equipment Telecommunications Services S.A.L.)
- What are the practical implications of this case?
- What was the background?
- What did the court decide?
- Case details
Dispute Resolution analysis: An English exclusive jurisdiction clause is effective to prevent a defendant from pursuing a statutory remedy under its local law notwithstanding that the jurisdiction clause is unenforceable under that local law. The claimants in this case thus obtained an interim anti-suit injunction restraining a Lebanese distributor from suing in the Lebanon for compensation following termination of a distribution agreement pursuant to a Lebanese decree which mandatorily allocated jurisdiction to the Lebanese courts. The jurisdiction clause was unenforceable under Lebanese law but the court rejected an argument that this rendered the contract as a whole (including the jurisdiction clause) unenforceable in England under the Ralli Bros principle, holding that performance of the distribution agreement did not necessarily involve doing any act which was illegal in the Lebanon. An argument that the Lebanese proceedings asserted a free-standing statutory cause of action under Lebanese law falling outside the ambit of the jurisdiction clause also failed. Written by Julia Dias QC, barrister at 7 King’s Bench Walk.
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