Babanaft International Co SA v Bassatne: CA 30 Jun 1988

The court considered whether the state in which enforcement of a judgment will take place should be the place where the debt is situated upon which it is sought to execute.
Held: There was nothing to preclude English courts from granting Mareva type injunctions against defendants extending to assets outside the jurisdiction, but the court insisted that there can be no question of such orders operating directly upon the foreign assets by way of attachment, or upon third parties, such as banks, holding the assets. The effectiveness of such orders for these purposes can only derive from their recognition and enforcement by the local courts, as should be made clear in the terms of the orders to avoid any misunderstanding suggesting an unwarranted assumption of extraterritorial jurisdiction.
Nicholls LJ was concerned at the ‘extraterritorial vice’ of unqualified orders. He pointed out ‘The enforcement of the judgment in other countries, by attachment or like process, in respect of assets which are situated there is not affected by the order. The order does not attach those assets. It does not create, or purport to create, a charge on those assets, nor does it give the plaintiff any proprietary interest in then. The English court is not attempting in any way to interfere with or control the enforcement process in respect of those assets.’
Kerr LJ said: ‘In my view, the key to the proper exercise of any extra-territorial jurisdiction must lie in the question whether there is international reciprocity for the recognition and enforcement of the type of order which is under consideration, in this case a Mareva injunction or a variant of it purporting to operate on the defendants’ assets abroad.’ and
‘Apart from any EEC or EFTA connection, there is in any event no jurisdictional (as opposed to discretionary) ground which would preclude an English court from granting a pre-judgment Mareva injunction over assets situated anywhere outside the jurisdiction, which are owned or controlled by a defendant who is subject to the jurisdiction of our courts, provided that the order makes it clear that it is not to have any direct effect on the assets or on any third parties outside the jurisdiction save to the extent that the order may be enforced by the local courts. Whether an order which is qualified in this way would be enforced by the courts of states where the defendant’s assets are situated would of course depend on the local law . .’
Kerr LJ considered the standard proviso in such an order protecting the interests of third parties: ‘We understand that this is nowadays a standard type of proviso to Mareva injunctions, and it is of course inserted for the benefit of third parties who may be affected by the freezing order. My reason for quoting it is that it illustrates that, although Mareva injunctions are orders made in personam against defendants, they also have an in rem effect on third parties. It shows that, save to the extent of the proviso, the order is binding on third parties who have notice of the injunction. Although the passage in the judgment of Lord Denning MR in Z Ltd v. A [1982] 1 All ER 556 at 562, [1982] QB 558 at 573 headed ‘Operation in rem’ may well go too far in a number of respects, there cannot be any doubt that Mareva injunctions have a direct effect on third parties who are notified of them and who hold assets comprised in the order.’
Neill LJ said: ‘I am satisfied, however, that the Court has jurisdiction to grant a mareva injunction over foreign assets, and that in this developing branch of the law the decision in Ashtiani v. Kashi may require further consideration in a future case.’
Kerr, Neill and Nicholls LJJ
[1990] Ch 13, Independent 30-Jun-1988, [1989] 1 All ER 433
England and Wales
Citing:
LimitedZ Ltd v A-Z and AA-LL CA 1982
The plaintiffs, an overseas company with an office in London had been defrauded here. They sought and obtained Mareva injunctions against defendants and against six clearing banks. The banks sought clarification of their duties.
Held: The . .
CitedAshtiani v Kashi CA 1986
On the grant of a Mareva injunction, the defendant had disclosed assets outside the jurisdiction in bank accounts in Europe. The plaintiff then obtained injunctions relating to those assets. The defendant obtained the discharge of those orders on . .

Cited by:
CitedKuwait Oil Tanker Company SAK and others v UBS AG, Qabazard HL 12-Jun-2003
Mr Qabazard conspired with others to defraud the Kuwait Oil Tanker Company SAK and Sitka Shipping Inc of large sums of money. On 16 November 1998 Moore-Bick J gave judgment against him for over US$130m. Historically sums had been placed with the . .
CitedSociete Eram Shipping Company Limited and others v Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corp Ltd, Compagnie Internationale de Navigation HL 12-Jun-2003
The appeal concerned a final third party debt order (formerly a garnishee order). A judgment in France was registered here for enforcement. That jurisdiction was now challenged.
Held: A third party debt order is a proprietary remedy operating . .
CitedBAS Capital Funding Corporation, Deutsche Bank Ag London, Paine Webber Capital Inc, PW Exe Lp, Pw Partners 1999 Lp v Medfinco Limited, Abacus Holdings Limited, Andreas W Gerdes, HTC Inc, etc ChD 25-Jul-2003
The claimants wanted to bring actions in respect of various matters under shareholders agreements in complex international joint ventures. Leave was given to serve English proceedings in Malta, and the claim form and particulars of claim were faxed . .
CitedBank of China v NBM LLC and others CA 18-Dec-2001
A world wide asset freezing order, should as regards property in other jurisdictions allow that those having control of such assets must be free to deal with them as required by local law and other legal obligations. An order had included a ‘Baltic . .
EndorsedDerby and Co Ltd v Weldon (Nos 3 and 4) CA 1990
The plaintiff had obtained an asset freezing order against a defendant Panamanian Company, which now appealed saying that it was inappropriate to make such an order where the company had no assets in the jurisdiction.
Held: The appeal failed. . .
AppliedRepublic of Haiti v Duvalier CA 1989
The defendant had fled from Haiti with a large part of that country’s assets while in power. Proceedings were pending in France which gave no jurisdiction to grant a worldwide freezing or disclosure order. He had used a firm of English solicitors as . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 09 May 2021; Ref: scu.183518