Accentuate Ltd. v. Asigra, Inc.

[2009] EWHC (QB) 2655 (2009)

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Accentuate Ltd. v. Asigra, Inc.

England and Wales High Court of Justice
[2009] EWHC (QB) 2655 (2009)

Facts

Accentuate Ltd. (plaintiff), an English company, contracted with Asigra, Inc. (defendant), a Canadian company, to distribute Asigra’s software and hardware. The agreement between the parties stated that the law of Ontario, Canada, controlled and that any disputes would be settled by arbitration in Toronto, Canada. A dispute arose, and Asigra commenced arbitration proceedings in Toronto. The arbitral tribunal determined that compensation pursuant to an EU law, the Commercial Agents (Council Directive) Regulations 1993 (the regulations), was not available to Accentuate because Ontario law applied. Thereafter, Accentuate filed an action in England to claim the compensation due to it under the regulations. Asigra moved for a stay of the English proceedings pursuant to England’s Arbitration Act 1996. The district court stayed the proceedings in favor of the arbitration, determining that the court did not have jurisdiction. Accentuate appealed, arguing that its claims to compensation under the regulations did not come within the purview of the arbitration clause, because the regulations were a mandatory law that could not be circumvented by choice-of-law provisions.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Tugendhat, J.)

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