In Deutsche Bank AG and another v Highland Crusader Offshore Partners LP and others – Butterworths Law Direct 20.4.09 the first Claimant had issued proceedings in the United Kingdom to recover a sum said to be owed to it by the Defendants, and the Defendants issued proceedings in Texas notwithstanding the fact that the contracts between the parties contained non-exclusive English jurisdiction clauses. The Claimants issued and served, inter alia, an application for an anti-suit injunction against the Defendants in respect of the Texan proceedings.
The Commercial Court held that an English court would grant an anti-suit injunction if the 'ends of justice' required it. The guidance provided by the relevant authorities was to the effect that, where a remedy for a particular wrong was available both in the English court and in a foreign court, the English court would, generally speaking, only restrain the plaintiff from pursuing proceedings in the foreign court if such pursuit would be vexatious or oppressive. A party would ordinarily act vexatiously and oppressively in pursuing proceedings in the non-contractual jurisdiction in parallel with proceedings in the contractual jurisdiction, unless there were exceptional reasons, not foreseeable at the time when the contractual jurisdiction was agreed. Moreover, the issue arose irrespective of which set of proceedings started first .
In this case, there were no exceptional unforeseeable circumstances justifying the Defendants' pursuit of proceedings in Texas, the non-contractual forum.
The anti-suit injunction would therefore be granted. The Defendants should take steps to have the Texan proceedings stayed until after the outcome of the UK proceedings.