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    The parties’ commercial dispute was particularly suited to mediation and to avoid further costs being incurred in satellite litigation an application for an anti-suit injunction was adjourned to enable the parties to try to settle the dispute by giving them 28 days to appoint a mediator and to conclude mediation procedures.

    The applicant (C) sought an anti-suit injunction against the respondent (R) to restrain the pursuit or continuance of proceedings in Russia allegedly in breach of an arbitration agreement in a share purchase agreement. The basis of C’s claim for an injunction was that R’s indirect subsidiary was pursuing Russian proceedings against C and others claiming that the transactions necessary to give effect to the share purchase agreement between C and R were null and void on the grounds that they were fraudulent or sham transactions or were contrary to the laws of Russia or its public policy. The share purchase agreement contained an International Chamber of Commerce arbitration clause with an express choice of London as the place of arbitration and C had commenced arbitration proceedings claiming damages for wrongful repudiation of the share purchase agreement by R.

    HELD: Having considered the background to the collapse of the transaction and the nature of the issues likely to arise both at the hearing of the application and at the hearing of substantive claims in the arbitration, as well as the various peripheral proceedings relating to the underlying transaction, including the pending proceedings in the Russian court, the overall interests of all parties, including R’s associated companies and beneficial owners, would be best served if the whole group of disputes between C and R was referred to mediation before any further substantial costs were incurred either in pursuing or defending satellite litigation or in pursuing the claim in the arbitration both for injunctive relief and for damages. The dispute with its particular commercial background was the paradigm of a case which was likely to be settled by mediation which provided scope for the kind of commercial solution which it was beyond the power of the court or of the ICC arbitrators to engender. The application was adjourned and the parties were given 28 days to appoint a mediator or panel of mediators and to conclude their mediation meetings.

    Judgment accordingly.

    C v RHL (2005)

    [2005] EWHC 873 (Comm)