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The jurisdictional limits of enforcing an arbitral award: Commercial Court finds no jurisdiction to impose worldwide freezing order against third parties outside England and Wales in support of an arbitration claim

The success of international commercial arbitration as a form of alternative dispute resolution much depends on the extent to which parties may vindicate their rights through the enforcement of any arbitral award. For this reason, to date – consistent with the pro-arbitration approach adopted by courts in many jurisdictions – English commercial court judges have shown a marked enthusiasm to use the panoply of remedies available to traditional civil litigants, both within the jurisdiction and without. The most powerful of these remedies is, of course, the worldwide freezing order which operates to restrain the respondent from disposing of assets available to satisfy any arbitral award, e [...]

ONGC v Western GECO – A new impediment in Indian Arbitration

Recently, the Indian courts have seen a heartening change with respect to the court adopting a pro-arbitration approach. However, for arbitrations seated in India, the decision of ONGC v Western GECO marks a regressive step in the non-interference trend. The Court assumed power to modify the subject matter of an award for violation of the ground of fundamental policy of the Indian State under Section 34(2)(b)(ii) of the Indian Arbitration and Conciliation Act 1996.

In Renusagar Power Plant Ltd. v. General Electric co. (1994) the Supreme Court of India noted that public policy was a ground for refusal of enforcement of an award. It laid down three grounds for the same, namely: fundamental pol [...]

Same claims, same evidence, different claimant: abuse of process for defendant to raise same defences?

In the recent case of OMV Petrom SA v Glencore International AG [2014] EWHC 242 (Comm) (07 February 2014) (“Petrom v Glencore”), the English Commercial Court was faced with the question of whether issues arising and decided in an arbitration should be treated as settled in subsequent court proceedings brought by a non-party to the arbitration.

The factual and procedural background to this case is particularly interesting and pertinent.

The dispute arose out of contracts for the supply of crude oil to Romania between Glencore, and a commission agent, a company called SC Petrolexportimport SA (“Petex”). Petex alleged that Glencore had supplied crude oil that did not comply with the [...]

A certifiable point? Enforcement of arbitral awards under Article IV of the New York Convention and section 102 of the Arbitration Act 1996

The Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (the “New York Convention”) is given effect in England and Wales through sections 100 to 103 of the Arbitration Act 1996 (the “1996 Act”). As is well known, the beneficiary of an award promulgated by an arbitral tribunal in a state-party to the New York Convention is broadly entitled to enforce the award in any other state-party, in the same manner as a judgment or order.

To enforce a New York Convention award in England and Wales, the party relying on it must satisfy certain basic procedural norms, which are themselves prescribed by Article IV of the Convention. Section 102 of the 1996 Act gives effect to, [...]

Arbitration In Egypt And The UAE: Reflections On Law And Practice

Arbitration, or tahkim, has long-standing religious and cultural roots in the Middle East. However, there are also a number of differences and tensions between the Western perception of arbitration and certain Islamic legal principles and traditions which form the cornerstone of many Middle Eastern States. As the Middle East becomes more prominent in the global marketplace, it is important that anyone involved in arbitration in the Middle East is aware of some of these differences. This blog looks to summarise some of the key points to be aware of in relation to arbitration in Egypt and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Arbitration law


On 18 April 1994, the Egyptian Law of Arbitration i [...]

“Between Iraq and a Hard Place”: The problem of non-ratification of the New York Convention in Baghdad

Setting the scene

Iraq currently ranks with Libya and Yemen amongst those recalcitrant Arab states that have thus far failed to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards of 1958 (the New York Convention or Convention). This state of affairs and the inadequacy of the country’s domestic and international arbitration legal regime have been addressed numerous times by academics, politicians and lawyers over the last thirty years.

However, the subject of Iraq’s non-ratification of the Convention has recently achieved a heightened significance, for two reasons:

(1) This month, it is understood that on-site workshops to train senior members o [...]

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