Jeremy Richmond QC, leading Koye Akoni, successfully represented Selevision Saudi Company ("Selevision") in successfully resisting beIN Media Group LLC's application to stay the enforcement of a DIFC-LCIA arbitration award for £8M in Selevision's favour. Further to an Arbitration Claim Form, Selevision had applied for, and successfully obtained, on the usual without notice basis an order giving it permission to enforce the Award in the same manner as a judgment or order under the provisions of CPR 62.18 and section 101 of the Arbitration Act 1996 (that essentially replicates the enforcement provisions of the New York Convention). Selevision served the Enforcement Order and the Part 8 Claim Form on beIN. beIN filed an Acknowledgment of Service indicating that it intended to "defend" the Claim. At the same time beIN applied for permission to bring a proposed Part 20 counterclaim under CPR 8.7 (which provides that a court must give permission before a counterclaim can be commenced in Part 8 proceedings) and, pending the determination of the proposed counterclaim, a stay of the further enforcement of the Award. beIN did not apply to set aside the Enforcement Order. The proposed counterclaim alleged that Selevision had facilitated a campaign of international copyright piracy concerning beIN's, and its associated companies', rights to broadcast high-profile sporting events (including UEFA Champions League matches) in North Africa and the Middle East. Selevision denied the allegation.

Butcher J rejected the application on the basis that the provisions of CPR 8.7 are not imported into the procedure set out in CPR 62.18. The Judge also found that even if he were wrong in that conclusion the Court would not as a matter of discretion have granted permission under CPR 8.7 since (among other things) the proposed counterclaim would risk the practical inhibition of the enforcement of a New York Convention Award and would entirely transform the streamlined procedure contemplated by CPR 62.18 into, in effect, a significantly contested Part 7 claim. Butcher J finally found that even if he had exercised his discretion and permitted the proposed counterclaim he would not have exercised his discretion to stay the enforcement of the Award pending its determination since (among other things) the subject matter of the proposed counterclaim was not connected to the subject matter of the Award.

The case is of significance to those practicing in the area of international arbitration since (among other things) it further clarifies the extent to which the provisions of CPR 8 are not incorporated into Arbitration Claims under CPR 62 (an issue that has been subject to obiter comment in a number of recent Commercial Court judgments) and reaffirms the streamlined nature of the enforcement of regularly obtained New York Convention Awards in England and Wales under the provisions of section 101 of the Arbitration Act 1996 and CPR 62.18.

Jeremy and Koye were instructed by Alex Burton (partner) and Michael Rhode (senior associate) of Trowers & Hamlins LLP.

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