England and Wales High Court of Justice, 31 May 2018, Sana Hassib Sabbagh v. Wael Said Khoury, Said Toufic Khoury, Samer Said Khoury, Toufic Said Khoury, Samir Hassib Sabbagh, Suheil Hassib Sabbagh, Wahbe Abdullah Tamari, Consolidated Contractors Group SAL (Holding Company), Consolidated Contractors International Company SAL (Offshore) and Hassib Holding SAL, [2018] EWHC 1330 (Comm)

Sana Hassib Sabbagh (“Claimant”) started litigation against ten Defendants with regard to her shares and the connected dividends in the Consolidated Contractors Group SAL (Holding Company). Thereafter, Samir Hassib Sabbagh and Suheil Hassib Sabbagh, together with Consolidated Contractors Group SAL (Holding Company) and Hassib Holding SAL, initiated proceedings before an arbitral tribunal seated in Lebanon (“Arbitration Claimants”). The Court of Appeal of England & Wales concluded in favour of Sana and rejected the request to stay lodged by Arbitration Claimants.

Before the High Court of Justice, Claimant requested an interim relief restraining parties from continuing Lebanese arbitral proceedings.

The High Court of Justice first notes that the subject matter of litigation is overlapped with the issues in Lebanese arbitration. It then recalls that if an anti-suit injunction is requested with respect to the arbitration with a foreign seat, and that that seat offers appropriate supervisory jurisdiction, the other courts must exercise their powers with caution. If the continued pursuit of an arbitration would be vexatious and oppressive to the party, such an exercise is justified. In the view of all circumstances of the case, and specially the decision of the Court of Appeal of England & Wales, the High Court of Justice rules in favour of Claimant and therefore grants the interim injunction.

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