A recent case has dealt with the first reported application for recognition and enforcement of an arbitral award under the Arbitration Act 2010, which gives the UNCITRAL Model Law force of law in Ireland.  The case involved a different scenario to that involved in the previous leading authority of Brostrom Tankers AB v. Factorias Vulcano SA [6] (which simply involved an application to recognise and enforce a New York Convention award) in that here, in addition to resisting the application, the respondent alternatively sought a stay on enforcement pending a challenge to the award where it was rendered. 

In Danish Polish Telecommunication Group I/S v. Telekomunikacja Polska SA , the Commercial Court dealt with an application for recognition and enforcement of a partial arbitral award under Article 35(1) of the UNCITRAL Model Law.  The award (rendered in Austria) obliged the respondent to pay the applicant the principal amount of DKK1,998,422,812, along with interest and costs.  Although the applicant sought to enforce the award in Ireland, the respondent challenged the award before the Austrian Court and sought an adjournment of the Irish enforcement proceedings under Article 36(2) of the Model Law pending the determination of the Austrian challenge.

Finlay Geoghegan J. suggested that pro-enforcement construction of Article 36(2) of the Model Law meant that the mere existence of proceedings seeking to set aside an award would not normally of itself constitute grounds for an adjournment.  Here, in considering the adjournment application under Article 36(2), she accepted that she did not need to determine questions of Austrian law, and simply needed to be satisfied that on the expert opinions adduced that there were reasonable or substantial grounds for contending that the award might be set aside by the Austrian Courts. 

In concluding that the respondent had adduced reasonable grounds with regard to the prospects of success of the Austrian challenge, she expressed the view that in granting the adjournment, she should consider the question of security.  Taking into account the period to which the award related, the duration of the arbitration, the timing of proceedings in Austria and the nature of the respondent’s assets in the jurisdiction, she determined security should be ordered in the initial sum of €1.5 million.  She also granted liberty to apply in relation to the continuation of the adjournment or further security, depending on the outcome of the Austrian proceedings and the possibility of appeal.