In Enka Insaat Ve Sanayi AS v OOO “Insurance Company Chubb” & Ors  EWCA Civ 574 (Enka vs Chubb), the English Court of Appeal recently ruled on issues relating to forum conveniens and the choice of law in relation to arbitration agreements.
The English Commercial Court considered two issues, including, first, whether the Commercial Court could or should grant an anti-suit injunction against Chubb Russia, and second, what was the proper law governing the arbitration agreement.
At first instance, the Commercial Court declined jurisdiction, and refused to grant the anti-suit injunction, finding that the Moscow Arbitrazh Court was the more convenient forum to deal with questions concerning the arbitration agreement and its relationship with the proceedings on foot in Moscow. The judge also declined to find on the question of the applicable law, even though he suggested that it was likely that Russian law would apply.
The Court of Appeal took a very different view, finding that in considering forum conveniens the primary judge erred in principle and that the proper choice of law inquiry resulted in the application of the curial law, i.e. the law applicable at the (chosen) seat of arbitration.