Thu, 09 March, 2017
Guy Blackwood QC and Simon Bryan QC (of Essex Court Chambers) appeared on behalf of the successful respondent, Arab Insurance Group, in the Court of Appeal case of Axa Versicherung AG v Arab Insurance Group in which the Court of Appeal has upheld the first instance judgment of Males J, and dismissed the appeal of Axa Versicherung AG ("Axa").
Axa had sought to avoid two first loss energy reinsurance treaties written by a predecessor of Axa, Albingia Verischerungs AG ("Albingia"), but was unsuccessful. Although Axa was able to demonstrate material non-disclosure of previous loss statistics, Axa had failed to prove that Albingia's underwriter, a Mr Thomas Holzapfel, was induced to write the treaties by reason of that non-disclosure.
Christopher Clarke LJ gave important guidance on the test for inducement, and what needs to be pleaded, or put in evidence, in inducement cases where the content of a fair presentation, and what would have been said to an underwriter on a hypothetical broke, is in issue, recording that: “If the matter is raised for the first time in cross examination (“If this statistic had been revealed and you had been told this, you would have written the risk, wouldn’t you?)” it may provide a good example of cross examination as an art form. But it involves the insurer/reinsurer coming to trial without notice of the hypothetical factual case that he has to meet and being required to answer on the hoof a question which on a presentation in the real world would not require so instant a response.”
In the circumstances, the customary means of pleading to inducement, by way of a “non-admission”, may no longer suffice.
Guy and Simon were instructed by Costas Frangeskides and Paul Wordley of Holman Fenwick Willan LLP.
The judgment can be accessed here.
Tue, 07 March, 2017
Fri, 03 March, 2017
Michael McParland QC was recently interviewed by The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.
To view the full interview please click here.
Fri, 03 February, 2017
The Commercial Court handed down judgment on 3 February 2017 in the above matter, in which Poonam Melwani QC of Quadrant Chambers instructed by Stephenson Harwood LLP on behalf of the Claimant Bank successfully argued that asymmetric clauses are indeed valid exclusive jurisdiction clauses for the purposes of Brussels 1 Recast so that the usual lis alibi pendens rules do not apply and potentially abusive litigation tactics cannot prevail
Brussels 1 Recast was introduced to give greater efficacy to exclusive jurisdiction clauses but since its enactment in 2015 practitioners and academics have sought confirmation that asymmetric jurisdiction clauses, common in many contracts including especially banking documentation, qualify as valid exclusive jurisdiction clauses for the purposes of Brussels 1 Recast.
Wed, 25 January, 2017
Thu, 12 January, 2017
Quadrant Chambers is delighted to announce that Michael McParland and Robert-Jan Temmink have both been successful in their applications for Silk. They will be formally appointed as Queen's Counsel on Monday 13th February 2017.
To view the full list of successful silk applicants please follow the attached link.
Fri, 25 November, 2016
Quadrant Chambers is delighted to announce the publication of the Winter 2016/2017 edition of the International Arbitration Newsletter.
Please click here to view the publication.
Mon, 21 November, 2016
Michael McParland’s article “Tacit contractual relationships and the special jurisdiction provisions of the Brussels I Regulation: Granarolo v Ambrosi” has been published today in Lloyd’s Maritime and Commercial Law Quarterly (LMCLQ (2016), pp. 500-517). Michael’s article deals with important developments in the European Court of Justice (‘ECJ’) as to how the concepts of ‘matters relating to a contract’ and ‘matters relating to tort, delict or quasi-delict’ are to be interpreted for the purposes of the ‘special jurisdiction’ provisions of the Brussels I Regulation, and will be of interest to anyone involved in cross-border disputes in Europe. The ECJ has introduced for the first time a concept of ‘tacit contractual relationships’: which, if found to exist in the specific circumstances of the case, means the special provisions of contractual jurisdiction are engaged, even though national law (and the Advocate General in the Granarolo case itself) had characterised the claim as tortious. Granarolo is likely to give rise to a number of disputes and further questions in the future, and will also have an impact in determining how (and indeed where) the dividing line between the applicable law regimes of the Rome I and Rome II Regulations is to be drawn.
Thu, 17 November, 2016
Please click here to view the full article, which was published in the November 2016 Volume 13, Issue 6 of International Corporate Rescue and appears here with the kind permission of the publishers, Chase Cambria
Related News: Insolvencies in the Supply Chain: Recourse Against the Owner of the Goods - Matthew Reeve (April 2017)
Thu, 10 November, 2016
The Court of Appeal handed down judgment today (10th November 2016) in Volcafe Ltd and other v Compania Sud Americana de Vapores SA (“CSAV”)  EWCA Civ 1103 upholding an appeal brought by the defendant shipowners. In doing so, it determined the much-debated question as to whether a defendant carrier must first disprove negligence on its part before it can rely on its defences under Article IV Rule 2 of the Hague Rules.
This is a debate which dates all the way back to the dictum of Wright J that the carrier is under such a burden. He expressed this view in Gosse Millard v Canadian Government Merchant Marine  2 KB 432, a case decided shortly after the Hague Rules came into force. It was subsequently denounced as “heresy” in the early editions of Carver, and has been the subject of various English and Commonwealth judicial dicta over the intervening 90 years. However, the correctness of Wright J’s view has never been squarely before an appellate court for decision before now.
The Court of Appeal (Lady Justice Gloster, Lady Justice King and Mr Justice Flaux, sitting in the Court of Appeal) has now unanimously held that the answer to this question is “no”.
The leading judgment of Mr Justice Flaux also contains valuable guidance at to (i) the assessment of whether a system is “sound” for the purposes of determining whether a carrier is in breach of its obligations to properly care for and carry the cargo under Article III Rule 2, (ii) the scope of the inherent vice defence, (iii) the interplay between Article III Rule 2 and Article IV Rule 2 (m) and (iv) the temporal scope of the application of the Hague Rules.
A copy of the judgment is available via the attached link.