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Resisting Jurisdiction of the English Courts in Litigation and Arbitration

Every year, hundreds of Russian individuals and companies are served as defendants in litigation commenced in the English High Court, or as respondents in arbitrations supervised by the English High Court. This is possible, even if the party being served has never set foot in England. Such occurrences are becoming more common, with English law governing around half of international contracts and the English courts offering flexible and favourable rules that permit service on Russian defendants. When served, it is essential for Russian defendants to immediately seek advice from English lawyers. Whilst there are a number of ways in which the jurisdiction of the English courts may be challenged, defendants must take steps to do so within 14 days, or they will be at risk of default judgment, potentially exposing the party to significantly high-value legal obligations. The arguments the party should present largely depend on the particulars of the individual case. In this article, we consid
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