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NON-PARTIES, FORUM AGREEMENTS AND EXPANDING ANTI-SUIT INJUNCTIONS

Lloyd's Maritime and Commercial Law Quarterly

NON-PARTIES, FORUM AGREEMENTS AND EXPANDING ANTI-SUIT INJUNCTIONS

Paul Myburgh*

Hai Jiang 1401 v Singapore Technologies Marine
The Singapore High Court’s decision in Hai Jiang 1401 Pte Ltd v Singapore Technologies Marine Ltd 1 (“Hai Jiang”) is noteworthy for being the first Singapore case to expand the category of the traditional Angelic Grace 2 anti-suit injunction based on breach of an exclusive forum clause, in order to allow a non-party injunction applicant, in effect, to enforce an arbitration agreement against a respondent asserting rights under the contract containing that agreement in foreign proceedings.3

The facts

The plaintiff, Hai Jiang 1401 Pte Ltd (“HJ”), entered into a sale and lease-back arrangement in respect of the MV Seven Champion (formerly the MV Lewek Champion), a pipelaying vessel, with Lewek Champion Shipping Pte Ltd (“LCS”), in terms of which HJ demise chartered the vessel to LCS. Under the charterparty, LCS undertook to remove the existing crane on the vessel, strengthen its structure and install a new higher capacity crane. LCS sub-demise chartered the vessel on a back-to-back basis to EMAS-AMC Pte Ltd (“EMAS”) a related company in the Ezra group. HJ, LCS and EMAS entered into a general assignment which assigned LCS’s current and future rights and interests in the vessel to HJ.4
The crane upgrading works were to be carried out in two phases. First, the defendant, Singapore Technologies Marine Ltd (“STM”) would remove the existing crane and perform structural works on the vessel at its Singapore shipyard. Second, the new crane would be installed by Huisman Equipment BV (“HE”) at a yard in Xiamen, China. STM and LCS entered into an agreement to undertake the first phase works. The agreement contained a Singapore law clause and provided that “[a]ny dispute arising out of or in connection with

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