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Case details

London Steam-ship Owners' Mutual Insurance Association Ltd (Respondent) v Kingdom of Spain (Appellant)

Case ID: 2022/0062

Case summary


Whether a judge erred in referring three questions to the CJEU under the preliminary reference procedure shortly before the end of the implementation period of the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union.

Whether the Court of Appeal erred in setting aside the judge’s reference.


The Club insured an oil tanker (The Prestige) which was lost off the Spanish coast in 2002. The tanker’s sinking led to significant damage from the resulting oil spill. On 1 March 2019, Spain obtained a judgment against the Club from the Spanish Courts for substantial sums in respect of this damage. The Club maintained that Spain’s civil claim against it in the Spanish courts breached its insurance contract which required claims to be brought by way of London arbitration. The Club obtained declarations of non-liability from a London arbitral tribunal and the English Courts. Following an application made by Spain, on 28 May 2019, Master Cook made a registration order on the papers in respect of the Spanish Courts’ judgment against the Club under Article 38 of the Brussels I Regulation. On 26 June 2019, the Club lodged an appeal against the registration order pursuant to Article 43 of the Brussels I Regulation.

Judgment appealed

[2022] EWCA 238



Kingdom of Spain


London Steam-ship Owners' Mutual Insurance Association Ltd



Lord Briggs, Lord Sales, Lord Leggatt, Lady Rose, Lord Lloyd–Jones

Hearing start date

This appeal has been adjourned by request of the parties.