A 2010 commodity dispute has taken a further step for its long lasting resolution. Arizon represents the defendant before the Spanish Courts, which is also the claimant in London arbitration proceedings.
Legal actions were commenced before the High Courts of A Coruña after negotiations between the parties had failed to settle the alleged claim. The defendant’s position was that there was an agreement to arbitrate accepted during the negotiations even though the contract was not finally concluded. Accordingly, the High Court of A Coruña had to deal with the defendant’s applications to stay proceedings declaring the competence of London arbitration. The Court refused these applications by issuing two Court judgments as to jurisdiction. Under Spanish law these judgments could only be challenged before the Court of Appeal once the judgment on the merits had been delivered.
Against all odds, and after a sudden substitution of the High Court judge during the day of the trial, a judgment on the merits was issued by the substituted judge where he held that a contract has been entered into by the parties and the claimant was entitled to damages arising from the defendant’s breach of contract, damages that he fixed in an amount above 1 MIO EUR, plus costs. The High Court’s judgment was appealed before the Court of Appeal where Dr. Arizon requested a hearing due to the new evidence produced by the London arbitration.
After the hearing took place, the Court of Appeal issued a judgment which has brought light to this complex matter; it has accepted all of the grounds of the defendant’s appeal; from the provisional effects of the 44/2001 Regulation, The Front Commor and The Wady Sudr doctrine implications, to the separability of the arbitration agreement.
The judgment is subject to a potential casation appeal before the Supreme Court. It is suggested however that such course of action would have very poor prospects of success.
We are much closer now to the resolution of this matter starring two giants of the world international trade market.
Felipe Arizon acted for the defendants in Spain.