Case of the Day: Linsen International Ltd. v. Humpuss Sea Transport

The Case of the Day is Linsen International Ltd. v. Humpuss Sea Transport Pte Ltd. (S.D.N.Y. 2011). Linsen and the other plaintiffs were shipowners who chartered their ships to HST. HST failed to pay. The charter agreement had an arbitration clause calling for arbitration in London. During the arbitration, HST “attempted to reorganize its corporate structure,” which led the plaintiffs to obtain a freezing injunction from the English court. The plaintiffs first sought to enforce the injunction in the US court, and after they obtained an award in the arbitration, they sought to confirm the award.

HST’s lawyers tried to stave off the inevitable, but the affirmative defenses they pleaded were plainly insufficient. Most notably, they pleaded that “Pursuant to Article 5 of the [New York] Convention … at least one of the seven bases for non-recognition exist.” This is not good pleading, but more to the point, HST could not establish any of the grounds for non-recognition, as it had the burden to do.

About Ted Folkman

Ted Folkman is a shareholder with Murphy & King, a Boston law firm, where he has a complex business litigation practice. He is the author of International Judicial Assistance (MCLE 2d ed. 2016), a nuts-and-bolts guide to international judicial assistance issues, and of the chapter on service of process in the ABA's forthcoming treatise on International Aspects of US Litigation, and he is the publisher of Letters Blogatory, the Web's first blog devoted to international judicial assistance, which the ABA recognized as one of the best 100 legal blogs in 2012, 2014, and 2015.

3 thoughts on “Case of the Day: Linsen International Ltd. v. Humpuss Sea Transport

  1. Excellent decision. The S.D.N.Y. once again confirms its pro-arbitration policy and refuses to pay attention to formalism and technicalities.

    1. I agree, Peter. This was an easy case, though. Given HST’s failure to give the court any reason to refuse recognition, the court could hardly have decided in HST’s favor!

  2. I agree. Fn.2 shows that the judge was thoughtful enough to find a copy of the arbitration agreement in a prior filing. Some judges, particularly outside of the U.S., would just use that as an excuse to dismiss.

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