By Daniel Harrison

In circumstances where the parties have already chosen arbitration as a means of settling disputes, the English courts will give short shrift to arguments focused on practical difficulties in providing witness evidence or on a strong connection between the claim and another jurisdiction.

The facts

In Hanaro Shipping Co Ltd v Cofftea Trading Co Ltd, the claimant cargo carriers and the defendant cargo receiver had entered into a bill of lading for the transportation of a shipment of sugar from Thailand to Sudan. The defendant argued that the shipment had been delayed and contaminated during shipping and commenced court proceedings in Sudan despite an arbitration clause in the bill of lading providing for arbitration under English law seated in London.  The claimant obtained an anti-suit injunction preventing the defendant from continuing its claim in Sudan and in this case applied for the continuation of the injunction.