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UK Supreme Court to consider anti-suit injunctions

03 May 2013
The UK Supreme Court hearing in the case of Ust-Kamenogorsk Hydropower Plant JSC v AES Ust-Kamenogorsk Hydropower Plant LLP begins in London on 1 May 2013.

The Supreme Court will consider whether the English courts have jurisdiction to grant an anti-suit injunction preventing one party from bringing foreign proceedings against another in circumstances where the parties had entered into an arbitration agreement which refers all disputes to arbitration in England, but where no such arbitration was as yet even intended or in prospect.

The parties in this case entered into a concession agreement in relation to a hydroelectric plant in Kazakhstan, which contained an arbitration clause referring all disputes to ICC arbitration in London.  A dispute arose and the owner of the plant issued proceedings in the Kazakhstan Court.  The operator of the plant applied to the English Court for an anti-suit injunction restraining the Kazakhstan proceedings.

Previously, the Court of Appeal ruled that the English courts were able to grant an anti-suit injunction in these circumstances, because any claim arising out of the concession agreement could only be brought by commencing arbitration in London. This case promises to provide a significant precedent in the important area of anti-suit injunctions and will therefore be of interest to practitioners and users of arbitration alike.  We will provide further information about this case as it progresses.

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