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EMMOTT V MICHAEL WILSON & PARTNERS

Lloyd's Law Reporter

EMMOTT V MICHAEL WILSON & PARTNERS

[2016] EWHC 3010 (Comm), Queen's Bench Division, Commercial Court, Mrs Justice O'Farrell, 24 November 2016

Arbitration - Anti-suit injunction - Cause of action estoppel - Issue estoppel - Abuse of process - Senior Courts Act 1981, section 37

By an agreement dated 7 December 2001 MWP and JE, a solicitor, agreed to operate as a "quasi partnership" and to share contacts and information. JE became a director of MWP and a 33 per cent shareholder. The agreement contained an arbitration clause providing for arbitration in London. In December 2005 Mr Emmott entered into a Cooperation Agreement with two other MWP employees, RN and DS, under which a consultancy was established. That was operated by a trustee, TIL, and an associated service company, TSL. At the same time RN and DS went to work for the consultancy. In July 2006 JE and MWP parted company on acrimonious terms, and JE went to work for the consultancy. The dispute led to an arbitration in which JE was awarded net sums of £3,209,613 and $841,213 plus interest. After unsuccessful challenges to the award, in June 2015 Burton J ordered that the quantum award should be enforced as a judgment. In 2015 and 2016 the liquidators of TIL and TSL assigned to MWP any claim or cause of action against JE, and similar assignments were made by the trustees in bankruptcy of RN and DS. MWP commenced proceedings against JE in New South Wales, and JE sought an anti-suit injunction.

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