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Case details

Enka Insaat Ve Sanayi A.S. (Respondent) v OOO Insurance Company Chubb (Appellant)

Case ID: UKSC 2020/0091

Case summary


  1. What is the correct approach to determining the proper law of an arbitration agreement?
  2. What is the relevance of the parties’ choice of law for the main contract under Rome I?
  3. What is the role of the court of the seat of an arbitration and in what circumstances is it appropriate or permissible for the English court to permit a foreign court to decide whether proceedings before the foreign court are a breach of an arbitration agreement?


After a fire broke out in a power plant in Russia, Chubb Russia, the insurers of the plant’s owners brought proceedings in Russia against Enka, a subcontractor, alleging liability for the fire. Enka began proceedings in England contending that the dispute was subject to an arbitration agreement in the contract under which it had performed the works, and seeking an order that Chubb Russia discontinue the Russian Proceedings ("an anti-suit injunction"). Enka’s claim was dismissed by the High Court at first instance at an expedited trial. The Court of Appeal subsequently allowed Enka’s appeal, granting an anti-suit injunction and restraining Chubb Russia from appealing the decision of the Russian court. Chubb Russia seeks to appeal.

Judgment appealed

[2020] EWCA Civ 574



OOO Insurance Company Chubb


Enka Insaat Ve Sanayi A.S.



Lord Kerr, Lord Sales, Lord Hamblen, Lord Leggatt, Lord Burrows

Hearing start date

27 Jul 2020

Hearing finish date

28 Jul 2020

Watch hearing
27 Jul 2020 Morning session Afternoon session
28 Jul 2020 Morning session Afternoon session

Judgment details

Judgment date

09 Oct 2020

Neutral citation

[2020] UKSC 38

  • Judgment (PDF) Please Note: 12th July 2021 - Lord Hamblen and Lord Leggatt, having been contacted by Mr Louis Flannery QC, agree that paragraph 170(vi) of the judgment should be amended to read "(vi) Additional factors which may, however, negate such an inference and may in some cases imply that the arbitration agreement was intended to be governed by the law of the seat are: (a) any provision of the law of the seat which indicates that, where an arbitration is subject to that law, the arbitration agreement will also be treated as governed by that country’s law; or (b) the existence of a serious risk that, if governed by the same law as the main contract, the arbitration agreement would be ineffective. Either factor may be reinforced by circumstances indicating that the seat was deliberately chosen as a neutral forum for the arbitration.
  • Press summary (PDF) - Please Note: A revised version of this judgment was uploaded on 15 March 2021. The word ‘defence’ has been amended to ‘deference’ – heading "Reasons for Judgment" – para 4 – last sentence.
  • Press summary (HTML version)
  • Judgment on BAILII (HTML version)
Watch Judgment summary
08 Oct 2020 Judgment summary