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Lewis Silkin successfully defends Trust Risk Group SpA in the High Court

28 July 2015

Lewis Silkin has successfully defended its client Trust Risk Group S.p.A. (“TRG”) against an anti-arbitration injunction brought by AmTrust Europe Limited (“AmTrust”).

Lewis Silkin has successfully defended its client Trust Risk Group S.p.A. (“TRG”) against an anti-arbitration injunction application brought by AmTrust Europe Limited (“AmTrust”).

TRG is a leading insurance broker in Italy.  It is authorised and regulated by IVASS.  It specialises in medical malpractice cover and has offices in Milan, Naples, London, Barcelona and Madrid.  In 2013 it brokered premiums with a gross value in excess of €400m.

AmTrust sought to restrain TRG from pursuing arbitration proceedings in Italy.  The English Court refused to intervene.  Citing the leading authority of Weissfisch –v- Julius & Others [2006] EWCA Civ 218, Mr Justice Andrew Smith held that it was for the arbitral panel to determine its own competence, subject to the supervisory jurisdiction of the Milan Court of Appeal.  There were no exceptional circumstances justifying a departure from the principle of Kompetenz-Kompetenz.

Commenting on the case, the management of Trust Risk Group S.p.A. said:

"TRG welcomes the English Court’s decision to respect the authority of the Italian Arbitration. We agreed to submit disputes to arbitration in Italy and it is right that those proceedings should continue without intervention."

The Lewis Silkin team was led by Litigation & Dispute Resolution partner Mark Lim, alongside Senior Associate Fraser McKeating. Both Mark and Fraser were part of the Lewis Silkin team who acted in the 2006 case of Weissfisch –v- Julius & Others before the Court of Appeal.

Counsel for TRG were Charles Samek QC and Alexander Robson, both of Littleton Chambers.

Mark Lim at Lewis Silkin added:

"It has been a pleasure assisting TRG with this issue. The English Court’s decision confirms the well-established principle of Kompetenz-Kompetenz.  AmTrust has already objected to the Tribunal’s jurisdiction in the arbitral reference and it is appropriate for the issue to be determined by the arbitrators.  Fraser and I look forward to continuing to support TRG in future."

For further information please contact:

Mark Grant
Director of Business Development & Marketing, Lewis Silkin
Tel: 020 7074 8226

Scott Addison, Anna Younger or Tal Donahue
Infinite Spada
Tel: 020 7269 1430

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