Parties may struggle to establish issue estoppel based on a foreign judgment, even when they agreed exclusive jurisdiction of English courts.
MAD Atelier International BV v. Manès  EWHC 1014 (Comm) considers key aspects of the law of issue estoppel and abuse of process in relation to foreign judgments. The decision highlights that even when parties have chosen exclusive jurisdiction clauses in favour of the English courts in their transaction documentation, they could unexpectedly find themselves re-litigating issues in multiple courts. It also shows that whether issue estoppel will be available, or whether another party can be prevented from “abusively” re-litigating, in England, issues that have already been determined by a foreign court, may depend on the foreign court’s view as to the binding and preclusive effect of its own decisions. This introduces an element of uncertainty into the finality of international litigation, which is why parties in multi-jurisdictional disputes should always take advice early. Continue Reading