BIICL Seminar on West Tankers


The British Institute for International & Comparative Law are hosting a seminar on Tuesday 12th May (17.30-19.30) entitled Enforcing Arbitration Agreements: West Tankers – Where are we? Where do we go from here? Here’s the synopsis:

The February 2009 West Tankers ruling of the European Court of Justice has the unintended consequence of disrupting the flow of arbitrators’ powers. The precise extent to which these are affected remains unclear, however. In its ruling, the Court stated:

“It is incompatible with Council Regulation (EC) No 44/2001 … for a court of a Member State to make an order to restrain a person from commencing or continuing proceedings before the courts of another Member State on the ground that such proceedings would be contrary to an arbitration agreement.”

Following this ruling essentially two questions arise: “Where are we?” and “Where do we go from here?”. The former question involves an assessment of West Tankers’ immediate implications. The second turns on an emerging consensus, encompassing comments from at least Germany, France and the United Kingdom, that legislative change is needed to attend to the unsatisfactory state of the law in this context. The Heidelberg Report 2007 on the Brussels I Regulation proposes amendments bringing proceedings ancillary to arbitration within the Regulation’s scope, and to confer exclusive jurisdiction on the courts of the state of the arbitration. Should this proposal be supported?

The Institute has convened leading practitioners and academics, including one of the authors of the Heidelberg Report, to rise to the challenge of answering these questions. There will be ample occasion for discussion, so those attending are encouraged to share their thoughts and ideas.

2 CPD hours may be claimed by both solicitors and barristers through attendance at this event.

Chair: The Hon Sir Anthony Colman, Essex Court Chambers

Alex Layton QC, 20 Essex Street; Chairman of the Board of Trustees, British Institute of International and Comparative Law
Professor Adrian Briggs, Oxford University
Professor Julian Lew QC, Head of the School of International Arbitration (Queen Mary), 20 Essex Street
Professor Thomas Pfeiffer, Heidelberg University; co-author of the Heidelberg Report 2007
Adam Johnson, Herbert Smith
Professor Jonathan Harris, Birmingham University and Brick Court Chambers

Details on prices and booking can be found on the BIICL website.

If you want to do your homework before the event, you might want to visit (or revisit) our West Tankers symposium, not least because four of the speakers at the BIICL seminar were also involved in our symposium.