In John Foster Emmott (Emmott) v. Michael Wilson & Partners Limited (MWP) [2009] EWHC 1 (Comm) the Court had to consider two applications brought by Emmott pursuant to the Arbitration Act 1996 (AA): (1) for an order requiring MWP to comply with a peremptory order (an order to do something within a particular time period) made by an arbitration tribunal (section 42 AA); (2) for a freezing order (section 44 AA).

In relation to point 1. above, the Court rejected the contention that it should conduct itself as a reviewer of the tribunal's decision to make the peremptory order (although the Court acknowledged that it did have discretion and that it would be inconsistent with that discretion should the Court act as a rubber stamp on orders made by the tribunal). The Court found that it should only decline to make an order that a party comply with a peremptory order of the tribunal where such an order was not required in the interests of justice to assist the proper functioning of the arbitral process. Such circumstances did not arise in this case and accordingly the Court made the order requiring MWP to comply with the tribunal's peremptory order.

In relation to point 2. above, the Court noted that assets sought by Emmott from MWP had been transferred to a Liechtenstein Anstalt (an anstalt is a type of corporate body peculiar to Liechtenstein). Lichtenstein has not ratified the New York Convention on the Enforcement of Arbitration Awards and this was sufficient to raise a real possibility that the transfer was effected by MWP to put the assets beyond the reach of Emmott. The Court made the freezing order accordingly.