First indication of the impact of the "Recast Brussels Regulation"
27 April 2015
Client Alert | EU | International Dispute Resolution | April 2015
The reversal of West Tankers, and the return of anti-suit injunctions in favour of arbitration proceedings?
A recent opinion delivered in the Court of Justice of the European Union ("CJEU") has provided the first indication as to the impact on the arbitration landscape of the entry into effect of Regulation (EU) No 1215/2012 (the "Recast Brussels Regulation"), which replaced Regulation 44/2001 (the "Brussels Regulation") on 10 January 2015.
Anti-suit injunctions, which are familiar in common law jurisdictions, but less common to those in civil law jurisdictions, are orders issued by a court or an arbitral tribunal which prevent an opposing party commencing or continuing proceedings in another jurisdiction or forum.
In 2009, the CJEU had controversially held in the West Tankers case that anti-suit injunctions issued by a court of a Member State in support of arbitration proceedings were incompatible with the Brussels Regulation.
In the case of 'Gazprom' OAO (Case C536/13), AG Wathelet, delivered an opinion on 4 December 2014 in which he argues that anti-suit injunctions issued to prevent or remedy breaches of arbitration agreements do not fall within the scope of the Brussels Regulation or the Recast Brussels Regulation, and are not therefore incompatible with either.
Is this the first step leading to a reversal of the West Tankers decision, paving the way for the return of anti-suit injunctions issued to support arbitration proceedings within the EU?