In a ground-breaking ruling, the Court of Appeal has confirmed that English courts have the authority to issue final anti-suit injunctions in support of arbitration agreements governed by English law, even when the seat of the arbitration is outside of England. The landmark judgment in Unicredit Bank GmbH v Ruschemalliance LLC [2024] EWCA Civ 64, which follows three earlier lower court decisions arising on substantially the same fact[1], reinforces the robust protection of arbitration rights under English law and solidifies the position of English courts as a bastion for arbitration.

Background

The dispute revolved around Italian bank UniCredit, which, along with Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank, issued performance bonds in favour of RusChemAlliance (RCA), a Russian operator of an LNG facility in the Leningrad Oblast, in relation to construction contracts between RCA and German engineering contractors. These bonds were governed by English law and provided for arbitration in Paris under the ICC rules.

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 and the subsequent imposition of wide-ranging EU sanctions, the German companies halted work under the construction contracts after receiving confirmation from German authorities that they deemed such work to be prohibited under Regulation (EU) 833/2014. RCA terminated the


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