AIG Europe SA v QBE International Insurance Ltd [QBD (Comm)]

JurisdictionEngland & Wales
JudgeMoore-Bick J.
Judgment Date03 May 2001
Neutral Citation[2001] EWHC 491 (Comm)
CourtQueen's Bench Division (Commercial Court)
Date03 May 2001


Before Mr Justice Moore-Bick.

AIG Europe SA
QBE International Insurance Ltd

Jurisdiction - whether reinsurance contract demonstrated consensus as to jurisdiction of disputes - court must look at commercial background of agreement

Court must look to background of reinsurance agreement

Where a court was determining whether the general words of a reinsurance contract, which incorporated the terms of the underlying contract, demonstrated an agreement between the parties that the term of the underlying contract providing for exclusive jurisdiction of disputes applied to the reinsurance contract, thereby satisfying the requirements of article 17 of the Brussels Convention 1968, it had to take into account the background and commercial context of the agreement.

Mr Justice Moore-Bick so held in the Queen's Bench Division when dismissing an application by the defendant, QBE International Insurance Ltd, for a declaration that English courts had no jurisdiction to determine a claim made against it by the claimant, AIG Europe SA, for wrongful termination of a contract of reinsurance and an order setting aside service of the proceedings on the ground that the parties had agreed in accordance with the requirements of article 17 of the Convention that the courts of France were to have exclusive jurisdiction over contractual disputes.

Mr Neil Calver for the claimant; Mr Adam Fenton for the defendant.

MR JUSTICE MOORE -BICK said that general words in a reinsurance contract incorporating the terms and conditions of the underlying policy could not necessarily be taken as demonstrating clearly and precisely the existence of a consensus, as required under article 17, concerning clauses which were ancillary to the substance of the contract.

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20 cases
  • Siboti K/S v BP France SA
    • United Kingdom
    • Queen's Bench Division (Commercial Court)
    • 11 June 2003
    ...Law context, AIG Europe v Ethniki [1998] 4 All ER 301, at pp. 309–311 (Colman,J.) and [2000] 2 All ER 566 (CA), at pp. 375–6 (Evans,LJ); AIG v QBE [2001] 2 Lloyd's Rep. 268, esp. at paras. 17 and 31 (3) When can the provisions of the charterparty be taken into account ? As already foresh......
  • Dornoch Ltd v Mauritius Union Assurance Company Ltd
    • United Kingdom
    • Queen's Bench Division (Commercial Court)
    • 19 August 2005 incorporate terms that were not relevant to the risk, such as a jurisdiction clause. 51 This approach was followed in AIG Europe v QBE International Insurance. 38 In that case Moore – Bick J thought that the proper law of the reinsurance contract was probably French law. Despite that, he......
  • Habas Sinai Ve Tibbi Gazlar Istihsal Endustrisi as v Sometal Sal
    • United Kingdom
    • Queen's Bench Division (Commercial Court)
    • 18 January 2012
    ...more than that: Thomas v Portsea (Lord Loreburn, L.C. and Lord Atkinson; The Annefield, Excess Insurance. See also Moore-Bick J in AIG Europe SA v QBE International Insurance [2001] 2 Lloyd's Rep 268, 273. (b) Arbitration clauses are ancillary provisions by way of dispute resolution essenti......
  • Evialis S.A. v S.I.A.T. and Others
    • United Kingdom
    • Queen's Bench Division (Commercial Court)
    • 16 April 2003
    ...Charis Compania Maritima SA v Pagnan SpA (The Angelic Grace)UNK [1995] 1 Ll Rep 87. AIG Europe SA v QBE International Insurance Ltd [2001] CLC 1259. Blue Nile Shipping Co Ltd v Iguana Shipping & Finance Inc (The Happy Fellow) [1997] CLC 1391. Canada Trust Co v Stolzenberg (No. 2) [1998] CLC......
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2 books & journal articles
    • Singapore
    • Singapore Academy of Law Journal No. 2006, December 2006
    • 1 December 2006
    ...See Gasser, supra n 37, at [51]. 56 See AIG Europe (UK) v Ethniki[1998] 4 All ER 301; AIG Europe SA v QBE International Insurance Ltd[2001] 2 Lloyd’s Rep 268 at [17] and [26] on whether the words of incorporation in a reinsurance contract are clear enough to incorporate the jurisdiction cla......
  • Anti‐suit Injunctions and the Doctrine of Comity
    • United Kingdom
    • The Modern Law Review No. 79-2, March 2016
    • 1 March 2016
    ...unacceptable breach of the principle of comity whichinsists on non-interference.6055 AIG Europe SA vQBE International Insurance Ltd [2001] EWHC (Comm) 491; [2001] 2 AllER (Comm) 622. On a similar point, see F. Chan, ‘Specific Words of Incorporation in Billsof Lading’ (2015) 131 LQR 372, a co......

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