In Roger Shashoua and others v Mukesh Sharma  EWHC 957 (Comm), the Claimants applied for an anti-suit injunction from the English court the object of which was to prevent the Defendant from pursuing proceedings in the Indian courts.
The Indian proceedings sought to challenge an interim arbitration award made in London in the Claimants' favour. The Defendant submitted that London was not the seat of the arbitration on the grounds that, the jurisdiction clause provided only that the arbitration would take place in London, that the seat of the arbitration and the venue are not synonymous and that as no seat had been specified, the court should have regard to the agreement and the surrounding circumstances which all pointed towards India as the most suitable seat for any proceedings. The Defendant also argued that the reasoning in the West Tankers case should be applied, not just in the EU, but to countries which were parties to a convention, such as the New York Convention.
The relevant clause provided that "the venue of arbitration shall be London, United Kingdom" and that the arbitration proceedings were to be conducted in English in accordance with ICC Rules and that the governing law of the Shareholders Agreement itself would be the laws of India. Cooke J ruled that in the context of an arbitration clause which provided for arbitration to be conducted in accordance with the Rules of the ICC in Paris (a supranational body of rules), a provision that the venue of the arbitration shall be London, United Kingdom did amount to the designation of a juridical seat. The parties had not selected London as the seat of arbitration purely for reasons of convenience and in fact, London as a venue was probably not that convenient. An argument that certain aspects of the jurisdiction clause were inconsistent with the Arbitration Act 1996 and, therefore, militated against the application of English law was also rejected.
The judge also rejected the argument that the West Tankers decision should be extended to proceedings commenced in non-member countries where those countries were party to conventions such as the New York Convention. He differentiated between the West Tankers decision and law of anti-suit injunctions which deal with issues of jurisdiction and the New York Convention which governs the recognition and enforcement of awards in member states.