The English High Court considered an application by Noble and Shell for an anti-suit injunction to restrain Gerling from continuing proceedings in the Vermont courts against both Noble and Shell where there had been a final arbitration award rendered in a London arbitration.
In November 2006 the Vermont court held that it had no jurisdiction to vacate the arbitration award since the seat of the award was London, but accepted subject matter jurisdiction over the claims to rescind the contracts for misrepresentation. In granting the ex parte injunction, the Court held that the misrepresentation claim fell within the scope of the arbitration agreement. The Court also held that the claims raised in the Vermont proceedings could have been raised in the London arbitration and that Gerling was estopped from raising those claims in the Vermont proceedings.
On the inter partes hearing for a final injunction, the Court held that Gerling’s conduct in attempting to nullify the effect of the arbitration award by court proceedings in Vermont against both Noble and its parent Shell, based on assertions contrary to the findings in the award, was vexatious, oppressive, an abuse of process and unconscionable. This decision confirms the jurisdiction of the English court to grant an anti-suit injunction to protect an arbitration award after the arbitration proceedings have concluded, and not only exiting arbitration proceeding prior to the delivery of an award. Noble Assurance Company and Shell Petroleum Inc. v. Gerling-Konzern General Insurance Company, 2006 EWHC 253 (February 22, 2007).