British Virgin Islands: Conyers Wins Landmark Litigation Case
Last Updated: 11 November 2010

Conyers Dill & Pearman has won an important victory for its client Pacific China Holdings Ltd in the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal in a landmark case which sets new boundaries for the recognition and enforcement of New York Convention arbitration awards.

In Pacific China Holdings Ltd v Grand Pacific Holdings Limited, the Court decided not to follow a string of Hong Kong and Singapore cases. Instead, the Court held that where Article V grounds for refusing enforcement are made out, the enforcing court cannot proceed to enforce merely because it forms the view that the result in the arbitration would have been the same. Although the same point was argued before the Supreme Court of the UK in another case earlier this year, judgment is still awaited in that case, making this the first ruling of its kind.

In another first, the court held that the existence of arguable grounds to resist enforcement also amounts to a substantial defence to a winding up petition based on the award, which is a point that has not, prior to this ruling, ever been clearly decided.

Mark Forté and Tameka Davis of Conyers' British Virgin Islands office acted as lead lawyers on the case with Charles Allen of Sidley Austin LLP and Richard Millett Q.C. of Essex Court Chambers.

The full judgment of this case is available from Conyers Dill & Pearman.

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