West Tankers Inc v Allianz SPA & Generali Assicurazione Generali SPA

Posted on 24/01/2012 · Posted in Arbitration

Enforcement of arbitral awards

West Tankers chartered a vessel to Erg Petroli SpA. The vessel collided with Erg’s jetty. Erg sought compensation from its insurers, Allianz SPA, and from West Tankers through arbitral proceedings in London. Later Allianz SPA brought proceedings against West Tankers to recover monies paid to Erg through the Italian courts.

First, West Tankers challenged the jurisdiction of the Italian court and sought an anti-suit injunction. The House of Lords found against West Tankers, holding that the European Court of Justice had stated that although arbitration is expressly excluded from the Brussels Regulation, an anti-suit injunction would not be compatible with it.

In a further attempt to avoid the claim in the Italian court, West Tankers sought to have the arbitral award granted in England enforced under s.66 English Arbitration Act 1996 (i.e. a declaration that West Tankers did not owe anything). The Court of Appeal stated that s.66 meant artibral awards should be enforced in the same manner as a judgment to the same effect, including the giving of judicial force to an award. To make arbitration and the awards granted via that method of alternative dispute resolution efficacious courts needed to show their support for them. This stood for declaratory awards as well as any other kind of award.

Link: West Tankers Inc v Allianz SPA & Generali Assicurazione Generali SPA [2012] EWCA Civ 27


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