In Poland v LC Corp BV, the Amsterdam first instance court mid-March refused Poland’s application for an anti-suit injunction, which would have prohibited LC Corp from seeking UNCITRAL arbitration under the now defunct Poland-Netherlands BIT, with London as curial seat.
The case echoes that of Kingdom of Spain v Blasket Renewable Investments LLC, in which the Amsterdam Court had earlier declined to hear an anti-suit injunction petition by Spain to prevent renewable investors from enforcing arbitral awards in the US: see Josep Galvez’s summary here. That case however in the meantime has encountered quite the opposite reaction from a US judge, who held end of March that Spain enjoys sovereign immunity in the case and that as a result of the CJEU’s Komstroy’s authority, neither Spain nor the defendant had power to sign up to arbitration, hence dismissing the petition to confirm an arbitral award rendered pursuant to the Energy Charter Treaty. In turn, that decision is in contrast with earlier orders in 9REN v the Kingdom of Spain and NextEra v the Kingdom of Spain as Curtis summarise here. The Court of Appeal will now hear those issues.
The case, as Geraldo Vidigal reminded me, is also reminiscent of the interlocutory decision in ECLI:NL:RBAMS:2022:5772, also involving Poland yet in that case with an anonymised Dutch corporate defendant. In that judgment the arbitration procedure was suggested as the currently only available way for the corporation to have its day in ‘court’, seeing as in the view of the judge, the Polish rule of law crisis questions the impartiality of the Polish courts, and the EU’s alternative Investment Court is not yet operational. Johannes Hendrik Fahner discusses that case here.
With recent Australian developments (blogpost imminent), even more proverbial ECT s**** is hitting the fan. IMHO this conundrum is not going to be solved by ever more procedural forum shopping with conflicting outcomes.
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