Hyundai’s engineering division succeeded in long and complex arbitration proceedings in Singapore against Australian company, Alfasi Steel Constructions (NSW) Pty Ltd. Alfasi applied to the Singapore High Court to set aside the arbitral award; that application not being heard until November this year. Alfasi resisted immediate enforcement of the final award in Australia on the ground of it having a pending application before a competent court in Singapore.
At an urgent hearing before Justice O’Callaghan in the Federal Court, Hyundai obtained orders requiring Alfasi to provide over AU$7.9m in cash or cash-like security within 21 days, securing 100% of the arbitral award plus interest to 30 November 2018. Andrew Christopher and Trevor Withane led the Webb Henderson team.
The speed of determination of this issue was in part due to the National Courts’ structure of the Federal Court, which assigns judges to matters based on availability and areas of specialisation, rather than geographic location. Choice of jurisdiction to litigate arbitral awards can be an important means of ensuring quick as well as useful outcomes, especially in an area of law where only a few practitioners have the depth of knowledge necessary to navigate the complexities.
See the decision here, which sets a useful precedent in an area of law with relatively few reported decisions.