Pan Liberty Navigation Co. Ltd. v. World Link (HK) Resources Ltd.

In Admiralty Practice, Judgments and Enforcement of Judgments on (Updated )

In this matter the Plaintiff had obtained an arbitration award in London against a defaulting charterer under a charter party that required English law and arbitration. The Plaintiff commenced this action against the defaulting charterer to enforce the award but also included as Defendants various other corporate entities. The Plaintiff alleged that the corporate entities were one and the same and that their separate existence was a fraud. One of the entities, World Link (HK) was the charterer of the ship “Eirini” which had called at Vancouver. The Plaintiff obtained an ex parte Mareva Injunction against the ship’s fuel and bunkers. The injunction was lifted when World Link (HK) paid the value of the fuel and bunkers into court. World Link (HK) then brought this application for a stay of proceedings. At first instance the stay was refused but on appeal to the Court of Appeal of British Columbia the stay was granted. The Court of Appeal held that the allegations of the Plaintiff fell squarely within the arbitration provision of the charter party because the real issue was whether World Link (HK), although not named in the charter party, was the defaulting charterer. These were matters that were properly to be heard and decided by the arbitrator according to English law. The Court of Appeal further indicated that it agreed with the approach taken by the English High Court in Norsk Hydro ASA v State Property Fund of Ukraine, [2002] EWHC 2120, that when enforcing arbitration awards the enforcing court is neither entitled nor bound to go behind the award in question. (Note: This case should be compared with Trans-Pacific Shipping Co. v Atlantic & Orient Trust Co. Ltd. et al., 2005 FC 311.)