EU Anti-Suit Injunction Post-Brexit

18 November, 2022

Judgment has been handed down today in Ebury Partners Belgium SA v Technical Touch BV [2022] EWHC 2927 (Comm). Following an inter partes hearing, Jacobs J granted an interim anti-suit injunction (ASI) restraining the pursuit of proceedings in Belgium brought in breach of an exclusive jurisdiction agreement. The ASI included a mandatory element, requiring the Defendants to discontinue the Belgian proceedings. The Defendants’ jurisdiction challenge was dismissed.

Prior to Brexit, it would not have been possible for anti-suit relief to be granted in respect of proceedings in the court of an EU member state. The prohibition has now fallen away, and the power is to be exercised in accordance with the settled principles summarised at [20] of the Judgment.

Further, the Court held that:

  • The question of whether a jurisdiction clause has been incorporated is governed by the putative applicable law of the matrix contract: [87].
  • The contract contained an express choice of English law. The question of consent to the choice of law clause was thus governed by English law under Article 10(1) of Rome I, and the exception in Article 10(2) did not apply: [103]-[114].
  • On English law principles, the Claimant established its case on incorporation to the ‘high degree of probability’ required for an ASI: [89]-[102].
  • There were no strong reasons to refuse relief: [116]-[129].

The Judgment is available here.

Anton Dudnikov represented the Claimant, instructed by Parham Kouchikali and Adam Forster of RPC.