Tuesday 17 – Wednesday 18 May 2022
The Appellants, John Wood Group PLC and Wood Group Canada INC (1st and 2nd Defendants below) appeal the two Orders of Jacobs J dated 7 October 2021. The Defendants seek to challenge the anti-suit injunction order, with a penal notice, which prohibits them from taking any further steps in the Alberta Proceedings against the applicants, or to pursue proceedings against the applicants in any other jurisdiction.
Background to the proceedings: The Claimants below are insurers. In separate but related proceedings, the Claimants sought to continue, on the return date, anti-suit injunctions which were granted on a without notice basis in August 2021. The injunctions relate to proceedings commenced by the 2nd Defendant against the Claimants in February 2021 in the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta. The basis of the application for anti-suit relief was, in the case of all the Claimants [apart from Allied World Assurance Company (Europe) DAC (“AWAC”) in a claim which is not pursued in the CoA], exclusive jurisdiction clauses in the relevant policies which provide for English jurisdiction. The Defendants’ principal argument, in opposition to the application, is that none of the policies, on their true construction, contain effective exclusive jurisdiction clauses. The Defendants contend that the injunctions should not be maintained because there was material non-disclosure by the Claimants on the without notice applications. Judgment was given on 24 September 2021, Jacobs J granted the Claimants’ application for a continuation of the anti-suit injunction, concluding there was no culpable non-disclosure which would justify declining to continue the injunction, which is necessary in order to preserve the contractual rights of AWAC and the insurers under the Global Umbrella and First and Third Excess policies.