Webb Henderson wins security for Hyundai in cross-border legal row

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Webb Henderson has scored a win for the engineering division of a South Korean conglomerate in a complex cross-border legal dispute.

Webb Henderson helped win security for Hyundai via an order from the Federal Court of Australia for a final arbitral award that the company won against an Australian company as a result of a protracted arbitration proceeding in Singapore.

Hyundai’s division had succeeded in the arbitration in Singapore against Alfasi Steel Constructions (NSW) and was awarded the sum of $7.9m. However, Alfasi applied to the Singapore High Court to set aside the award, a matter the court will hear in November.

Alfasi moved to stay the enforcement of the final arbitral award, since it said the matter is still pending before the Singapore court.

In an urgent hearing, the Federal Court of Australia agreed with Hyundai that enforcement should only be stayed if Alfasi provides security for the award. It must provide $7.9m in cash or cash-like security within 21 days.

“The speed of determination of this issue was in part due to the National Courts’ structure of the Federal Court, which assigns judges to matters based on availability and areas of specialisation, rather than geographic location,” Webb Henderson said. “Choice of jurisdiction to litigate arbitral awards can be an important means of ensuring quick as well as useful outcomes, especially in an area of law where only a few practitioners have the depth of knowledge necessary to navigate the complexities.”

Partner Andrew Christopher and senior associate Trevor Whitane led the Webb Henderson team. Webb Henderson instructed Justin Hogan-Doran, of Seventh Floor Chambers, to represent Hyundai in the Federal Court.

Colin Biggers & Paisley acted for Alfasi. The firm instructed Dr Anton Trichardt of Owen Dixon Chambers West to represent Alfasi in the court proceedings.


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