William Edwards obtains order setting aside £70 million judgment based on non-existent arbitral award

On 29 January 2024, Butcher J handed down judgment in Contax Partners Inc v Kuwait Finance House [2024] EWHC 436 (Comm).

In June 2023, an arbitration claim was begun by reference to a supposed Kuwaiti arbitral award dated 28 November 2022; in August 2023, judgment was entered ex parte in terms of the supposed award. William acted for the Defendants who applied to set aside the judgment on the ground that there had been neither an arbitration agreement nor an arbitration and what had been put before the Court at the ex parte stage were fabrications.

Butcher J – in a judgment describing the case as “unique in [his] experience” and “of the utmost seriousness” – held that “there was no arbitration agreement or arbitration, and that the Award and the Kuwaiti judgment are fabrications. I do not consider that there is a triable issue in relation to this.” Butcher J therefore set aside the judgment entered in terms of the purported award.

William Edwards was instructed by Rhys Thomas at Jones Day and Gareth Mills at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP.

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