- Commercial Court considers the construction and interpretation of jurisdiction clauses (Axis Corporate Capital v ABSA Group)
- What are the practical implications of this case?
- What was the background?
- What did the court decide?
- Case details
Commercial analysis: The Commercial Court considered a suite of insurance contracts. The defendants had brought proceedings in South Africa. The claimants sought an anti-suit injunction, alleging that the proceedings had been brought in breach of exclusive jurisdiction agreements. It was argued that the suite of agreements provided that the English courts had exclusive jurisdiction over the claims. Nicholas Vineall QC, sitting as a Deputy Judge of the High Court, heard the application. There were three main types of agreement considered. In each, the relevant clauses were drafted differently, and it was noted that the drafting left much to be desired. Mr Vineall QC undertook a detailed analysis of the text of each provision and found that some of the contracts did, and others did not, contain exclusive jurisdiction clauses. The injunction was granted in relation to those contracts, leaving the parties to litigate in both jurisdictions. Written by Christopher Humby, of counsel at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP.
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