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HFW secures rare Court of Appeal Enforcement of Chinese Arbitral Award

Global, sector-focused law firm HFW has secured a major win in the English Court of Appeal, which has upheld the enforcement of a significant Chinese arbitration award in favour of the firm's client, despite claims that it was "tainted" by fraud.

HFW's client, Chinese steel trading company Sinocore International Co Ltd, had agreed to sell $1.2 million of rolled steel coils to RBRG Trading (UK) Ltd in 2010.

But the deal broke down after it emerged that Sinocore had forged the bills of lading – a key shipping document that is required to transport goods. Sinocore changed the shipment dates on the bills in order to comply with amendments RBRG had made to the letter of credit without Sinocore's consent.

Sinocore and RBRG both initiated damages claims for breach of contract in CIETAC arbitration proceedings. The CIETAC tribunal found for Sinocore and ordered RBRG to pay damages of US$4,857,500, plus costs.

Sinocore then applied to the English High Court to enforce the award. (China and the UK are both parties to the New York Convention, which requires courts of contracting states to recognise and enforce arbitration awards made in other contracting states.)

RBRG challenged the enforceability of the award, arguing that it would be contrary to public policy for the Court to enforce an award that was "tainted" by fraud.

The High Court dismissed RBRG's challenge, recognising that the CIETAC tribunal had already considered – and rejected – this argument.

Following a one-day hearing on 27 March, that ruling has now been unanimously upheld by the Court of Appeal in a judgment handed down on 23 April.

The Court concluded that: "In enforcing the Award the court is not allowing its process to be used by a dishonest person to carry out a fraud. In the event, there was no fraud; only an attempt at fraud. There is no public policy to refuse to enforce an award based on a contract during the course of the performance of which there has been a failed attempt at fraud."

HFW commodities partner Brian Perrott:

"We are very pleased that our client's long judicial road to enforcement and satisfaction is finally coming to an end. We are sure that this decision will also be welcomed in China.

"This is quite possibly the first time that the Court of Appeal has ever had to deal with the issue of enforcing a Chinese arbitration award. This judgment confirms the robust pro-enforcement stance of the English court towards arbitration awards, and serves as a timely reminder, given the spectre of Brexit, of why the UK remains such a popular destination for international dispute resolution."

The HFW team was led by commodities partner Brian Perrott, and associates Marie-Anne Boothroyd and Prashant Kukadia. HFW instructed Nick Vineall QC and Neil Henderson of 4 Pump Court.

RBRG was represented by Neil Calver QC and Tom Pascoe of Brick Court Chambers, who were instructed by King & Spalding.

ABOUT HFW:

HFW is a leading global law firm in the aerospace, commodities, construction, energy, insurance and shipping sectors. The firm has almost 600 fee-earners, including 180 partners, based in 18 offices across the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Australia. We take a progressive approach to our roles in commercial business – thinking creatively and pragmatically to support our clients. HFW prides itself on its deep industry expertise and its entrepreneurial, creative and collaborative culture.

For further information, please contact:

Chris Johnson
Head of Communications
D  +44 (0)20 7264 8159
M  +44 (0)7976 939864
E  chris.johnson@hfw.com

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夏礼文律师事务所促成罕见的上诉法院对中国仲裁裁决的执行

全球的,以行业为亮点的夏礼文律师事务所在英国上诉法院取得了重大胜利,上诉法院支持一项有利于本所客户的重要仲裁裁决的执行,尽管该裁决被声称受到欺诈的“污染”。

夏礼文的客户,中国钢贸公司Sinocore International Co Ltd,于2010年同意出售120万美元的轧制钢卷给RBRG Trading (UK) Ltd

但是,在Sinocore伪造了提单——一个运输货物所需的重要运输单据之后,该交易破裂。 Sinocore更改了提单上的装船日期,以符合RBRG在没有Sinocore同意的情况下对信用证的修改

Sinocore和RBRG都在中国国际经济贸易仲裁委员会(CIETAC)提起了违约索赔。CIETAC仲裁庭作出了有利于Sinocore的裁决,并裁定RBRG支付4,857,500美元的损害赔偿,外加相关费用。

Sinocore随后向英国高等法院申请执行该裁决。(中国和英国都是纽约公约的缔约国,该公约要求缔约国法院承认和执行在其他缔约国作出的仲裁裁决。)

RBRG质疑该裁决的可执行性,认为法院强制执行一项被欺诈“污染”的裁决有违公序良俗。

高等法院驳回了RBRG的申诉,认为CIETAC仲裁庭已经考虑到这一点——并驳回了这一论点。

在3月27日举行为期一天的听证会后,该判决得到了上诉法院的一致支持,并于4月23日作出宣判。

法院作出结论:“在执行裁决时,法院不允许其程序被不诚实的人利用,进行欺诈。如果没有欺诈行为,只是试图欺诈,那么没有公诉良俗反对基于合同的裁决的执行,虽然在履行合同的过程中有试图欺诈的行为存在。”

夏礼文商品部合伙人Brian Perrott说道:

“我们非常高兴,我们的客户长期以来寻求执行的司法道路终于告一段落,并最终获得了满意的结果。我们相信这一决定也将在中国受到欢迎。”

“这很可能是上诉法院首次处理执行中国仲裁裁决的问题。这一判决证实了英国法院强有力的支持仲裁裁决执行的立场,并且是一个及时提醒,在受到英国脱欧的影响下,为什么英国仍然是解决国际争端的热门地点。”

夏礼文团队由商品部合作人Brian Perrott以及Marie-Anne Boothroyd律师和Prashant Kukadia律师领导。夏礼文指示4 Pump Court的Nick Vineall QC和Neil Henderson作为出庭律师。

RBRG由Brick Court Chambers的Neil Calver QC和Tom Pascoe代理,他们受King & Spalding律师事务所的指示。

关于夏礼文:

夏礼文是全球领先的航空航空,商品,建筑,能源,保险和航运领域的律师事务所。夏礼文在美洲,欧洲,中东,亚洲和澳大利亚有18个办事处,拥有近600名律师,其中包括180名合伙人。 我们采取渐进的方式处理我们在商事业务中的角色 – 具有创造性且务实地思考以帮助支持我们的客户。夏礼文为其深厚的行业专业知识以及其企业家精神,创造力和合作文化而自豪。

夏礼文是市场上规模最大、最活跃的纠纷解决的律师事务所之一,覆盖诉讼 —— 包括商业诉讼 —— 国际仲裁和其他形式的争议解决。夏礼文在世界各地的办事处都设有专业的争议解决团队,处理解决高价值、复杂的、涉及多个司法管辖的纠纷。夏礼文的专业知识涵盖航空,商品,建筑,能源,保险和航运等广泛的行业和部门。

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