Court rules in favour of London P&I Club in oil spill case against Spain

Decision comes following last year's judgment of the EU Court of Justice

Court rules in favour of London P&I Club in oil spill case against Spain


By Terry Gangcuangco

The lengthy M/T Prestige oil spill legal battle between the London P&I Club and Spain continues with a new ruling in the UK.

In 2022, the Court of Justice of the European Union found that the arbitration proceedings initiated by the insurer in the UK cannot block the recognition of the Spanish judgment ordering the London P&I Club (formally known as the London Steam-Ship Owners’ Mutual Insurance Association Limited) to pay compensation for the damage caused by the Prestige oil spill back in 2002.

“A judgment confirming an arbitral award can prevent the recognition of judicial decisions from other member states only if the content of that award could also have been the subject of a judicial decision adopted in compliance with the provisions and fundamental objectives of Regulation No 44/2001,” it said at the time.

Now, in London, High Court Judge Mr Justice Butcher has ruled in favour of the British insurer.

In the court document seen by Insurance Business, Mr Justice Butcher wrote: “The Club’s appeal against the registration order in Claim No. CL-2019-000518 succeeds, on the grounds (1) that the Spanish judgment is irreconcilable with the English s. 66 judgments, and (2) if that were wrong, recognition of the Spanish judgment would be contrary to principles of English public policy relating to res judicata by reason of the prior Schaff award.”

The Schaff award relates to arbitrator Alistair Schaff KC. As reported here, it was concluded that a resolution must be reached via arbitration in England.

What do you think about this story? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Related Stories

Keep up with the latest news and events

Join our mailing list, it’s free!