West Tankers: no escape? Damages for breach of arbitration clause permissible under EU law
Addleshaw Goddard has previously reported on a number of the earlier decisions in the long-running saga of West Tankers Inc v Allianz SpA and another  EWHC 854. In the latest decision, the Commercial Court has confirmed that there is no principle of EU law that requires an arbitral tribunal to decline to hear a claim for damages for breach of an arbitration agreement, even if the tribunal’s award is inconsistent with the decision of the court of an EU member state. The effect of this means that where a party commences proceedings in breach of an arbitration clause, although those proceedings cannot be the subject of an anti-suit injunction in the courts of another member state, a claim for damages or an indemnity may be brought before the arbitral tribunal against the party in breach.
To recap, arbitration proceedings were commenced in London arising out of a charter party and a collision with a pier in Italy. Court proceedings were subsequently commenced in Italy by the pier owner and its insurers in breach of an arbitration clause. Further proceedings were commenced by the ship owner (West Tankers) in the English Courts seeking an anti-suit injunction in respect of the Italian proceedings. The anti-suit injunction was granted at first instance but was subsequently referred to the European Court of Justice (ECJ). The ECJ held that it was for the Italian Courts as the Courts first seised (under the Brussels regulation) to rule on the issue without interference from the English Courts and that an anti-suit injunction in aid of the arbitration clause was non-compatible with the Brussels Regulation…
If you are registered and logged in to the site, click on the link below to read the rest of the Addleshaw Goddard briefing. If not, please register or sign in with your details below.
Sign in or Register to continue reading this article
It's quick, easy and free!
It takes just 5 minutes to register. Answer a few simple questions and once completed you’ll have instant access.Register now
Why register to The Lawyer
In-depth, expert analysis into the stories behind the headlines from our leading team of journalists.
Identify the major players and business opportunities within a particular region through our series of free, special reports.
Receive your pick of The Lawyer's daily and weekly email newsletters, tailored by practice area, region and job function.
More relevant to you
To continue providing the best analysis, insight and news across the legal market we are collecting some information about who you are, what you do and where you work to improve The Lawyer and make it more relevant to you.
News from Addleshaw Goddard
News from The Lawyer
Briefings from Addleshaw Goddard
Data Issues Roundup, February 2015: Visa to track smartphones, revenge porn, UK named worst for data breaches and more
A look at data issues in the UK, Europe and worldwide.
The latest report from the House of Commons Transport Committee calls for a longer-term, route-based transport strategy.
Analysis from The Lawyer
Which firms are cutting it in this era of slimline rosters, and who are the GC new brooms making clean sweeps? The Lawyer can reveal all
Could Slater & Gordon achieve its stated aim of becoming a top consumer brand by acquiring Pannone?