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Nori Holdings Limited et al v PJSC Bank Okritie Financial Corporation, [2018] EWHC 1343 (Comm)


  • Whether the court of one EU Member State can grant an anti-suit injunction where one of the parties has started legal proceedings in another EU Member State in disregard of an existing arbitration agreement between the parties?


  • The Brussels Regulation was adopted by the European Union in 2000 in order to minimize the impact of differences between national rules governing jurisdiction.
  • An injunction to stop legal action launched in violation of an arbitration agreement in another Member State court cannot be granted by an English court.


  • Five Share Pledges over shares owned by the three Claimants were used as security for the more than $500m in short-term loans made by the defendant, a Russian company. These Share Pledges had an arbitration clause with London as the seat.
  • The short-term loans backed by Share Pledges were then replaced with long-term unsecured bonds as a result of a sequence of transactions that occurred in August 2017.
  • The arbitration clause of the Share Pledges was purportedly referenced in five Pledge Terminations that terminated the Share Pledges and were regulated by Cyprus law.
  • The Claimants transferred the shares that were the subject of the earlier Share Pledges to other firms after the August Transactions, and those companies then pledged the shares to a different bank.
  • After the August Transactions, the Claimants transferred the shares covered by the earlier Share Pledges to other businesses, who subsequently pledged them to a different bank as collateral for additional loans.
  • The borrowers/claimants sought to enforce the arbitration clause in the agreements between the parties by applying to the English court for an anti-suit injunction aiming to prevent the Defendant from moving on with its claim.


  • The English court reaffirmed the validity of the West Tankers Inc. principles by refusing to grant an anti-suit injunction against the Russian bank.
  • In so doing, the English court clarified that the Recast Regulation adopts the same position as its predecessor, which rejects the grant of anti-suit injunctions to enforce arbitration clauses between parties in the European Union.
  • The Court held that English court cannot grant ant-suit injunction to restrain proceedings in another Member State court brought in breach of an arbitration agreement.