Town Shoes Limited v. Panalpina Inc. et al.

In Arbitration/Jurisdiction Clauses in Maritime Law on (Updated )

This case concerned the theft of a container of shoes carried by the Defendants from Italy to Montreal. The theft occurred at a Montreal warehouse. The Defendants brought this motion to stay the proceedings pursuant to a law and jurisdiction clause in the bill of lading that provided for the exclusive jurisdiction of the Court of Hamburg and the application of German Law. The court denied the stay on the grounds that the choice of law clause was inconsistent with the Clause Paramount which provided for the application of the Canadian Carriage of Goods by Water Act. Additionally, the court held that there were strong reasons for denying the stay as the evidence and witnesses were in Quebec, the Defendants had little connection with Germany, and the Defendants would suffer no prejudice if the case were heard in Canada. The court further concluded that the Defendants did not have a genuine desire to have the trial take place in Germany.