Anti-suit injunctions in Russian courts: no harm trying

06.09.2012

Practical Law Company

On 15 August 2012, the Moscow Commercial Court considered an application for an anti-suit injunction. Even though the court dismissed the application on formal grounds, it did not rule out the possibility of such injunctions being granted by the Russian court.

This case is one of a number of disputes between Novolipetsk Metallurgical Plant (NLMK) and Nikolay Maximov and Maxi-Group JSC (Maximov) resulting from a complex share purchase deal between the parties. Maximov had previously prevailed in an arbitration under the rules of the International Commercial Arbitration Court at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation (ICAC).

In January 2012, NMLK successfully challenged the arbitral award in Russian courts, on the ground (among others) of non-arbitrability of corporate disputes (see Legal update, Russian courts consider corporate disputes to be non-arbitrable (www.practicallaw.com/2-518-2616)). NMLK also commenced litigation in the Russian courts, claiming that the underlying share purchase agreement with Maximov was invalid.

As Maximov continued with the enforcement of the ICAC arbitral award that had been annulled in Russia, and initiated enforcement proceedings abroad, NMLK filed an application for interim measures as part of its litigation proceedings in Russia (regarding the invalidity of the purchase agreement). NLMK requested an anti-suit injunction prohibiting Maximov from commencing enforcement proceedings in respect of the ICAC award abroad.

The Moscow Commercial Court dismissed the application, ruling that it was not related to the subject matter of the dispute (invalidity of the purchase agreement). The court also found that NLMK had failed to prove that the absence of an anti-suit injunction would result in the inability to enforce the future judgment in NMLK's present court case.

It is noteworthy that Russian law does not specifically provide for anti-suit injunctions. However, the court dismissed the application on the formal ground only. It did not expressly exclude the possibility of anti-suit injunctions being granted by the Russian court, provided the conditions for granting such an interim measure are met.

Novolipetsk Metallurgical Plant (NLMK) v Nikolay Maximov and Maxi-Group JSC, No A40-26424/2011-83-201 (www.practicallaw.com/7-521-2654).


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