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Commercial Disputes Weekly – Issue 1611 February 2020

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BITE SIZE KNOW HOW FROM THE ENGLISH COURTS

Arbitration
In an important judgment on interim measures available in support of arbitration, the English court has held that it does not retain jurisdiction to continue a freezing order granted on the basis of urgency under section 44 Arbitration Act 1996 once the case is no longer urgent, and in order to continue the order the permission of the tribunal or consent of the parties will be required.
VTB Commodities Trading DAC v JSC Antipinsky Refinery

"Section 44 is designed to respect party autonomy and to restrict the scope of the court's jurisdiction accordingly."VTB Commodities Trading DAC v JSC Antipinsky Refinery

Contract
The Commercial Court has provided useful guidance on how to ascertain who the parties to a contract are, confirming that where a contract is evidenced in writing but the parties cannot be ascertained from the relevant document, recourse can be had to extrinsic evidence of what the parties said and did up to the point the contract was concluded.
Americas Bulk Transport Ltd (Liberia) v Cosco Bulk Carrier Ltd (China) (mv “Grand Fortune”)

Jurisdiction
Rejecting the suggestion that, where actions brought in different Member States are “related” under the Recast Brussels Regulation, there is a strong presumption for a stay of the second brought proceedings, particularly where the proceedings cannot be consolidated, the Commercial Court has held that civil proceedings in England should go ahead, notwithstanding the fact that related criminal and civil proceedings had also been brought in France.
SCOR SE v Barclays Bank Plc

Maritime
Charterers will be relieved by the Commercial Court’s decision that a general implied indemnity was not owed to disponent owners in respect of statements concerning the apparent order and condition of cargo. The court also provided a useful reminder that, by presenting a draft bill of lading with a reference to apparent good order and condition, a shipper is doing no more than inviting the Master to make a representation of fact in accordance with his own assessment of the apparent condition of the cargo.
Priminds Shipping (HK) Co Ltd v Noble Chartering Inc (mv “Tai Prize”)

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Should you wish to discuss any of these cases in further detail, please speak with a member of our London dispute resolution team below, or your regular contact at Watson Farley & Williams:

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