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Bwin Party Digital Entertainment Ltd v Emerald Bay and others [2016]

David Lewis QC succeeded in obtaining from the Supreme Court of Gibraltar an anti-suit injunction restraining proceedings being pursued before the New Jersey Courts. The dispute arises between Bwin, the internet gaming company, and various former shareholders of Bwin including “internet pioneer” Ruth Parasol Deleon. The former shareholders had advanced a claim in the New Jersey Courts alleging that Bwin made fraudulent, alternatively negligent misrepresentations in relation to the opportunity for internet gaming in New Jersey, as a result of which they divested their shares for lower value prior to a lucrative take-over of Bwin. Bwin successfully argued that those proceedings were in breach of a contractual promise not to sue in the US or Canada and were granted an anti-suit injunction by Mr Justice Jack on that basis. Amongst the various issues arising as to proper law and jurisdiction, the Judgment contains an important acceptance of the principle of “reflexive effect”, ie. the application of Article 25 of the Brussels Recast Regulation by analogy to proceedings instituted outside the EU. It is also one of the first cases to address the new lis alibi pendens provision in Article 33 of the Brussels Recast Regulation.