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Posted: October 12, 2016

Court Properly Enjoined Litigation in Venue Other Than That Provided in Forum Selection Clause

On October 4, 2016, the First Department issued a decision in Madden International, Ltd. v. Lew Footwear Holdings Pty Ltd., 2016 NY Slip Op. 06443, enjoining litigation in a forum other than that provided in a forum selection clause, explaining:

Notwithstanding that the parties’ agreement contained a choice of law clause providing that the agreement “shall be governed by and construed in accordance” with New York contract law “without regard to conflict of laws provisions” and a forum selection clause providing that “any and all actions or proceedings arising out of or relating to” the agreement “shall be exclusively heard only in … state or federal court” in certain counties in New York, defendant commenced an action against plaintiff in Australia. The Australian court denied plaintiff’s ensuing motion to dismiss or stay the action.

Defendant argues that plaintiff’s motion before Supreme Court to enjoin it from further prosecution of the proceeding pending in the Australian court should have been denied as contrary to principles of international comity. We find that the court exercised its discretion providently, in light of New York’s long-standing public policy of enforcing forum selection clauses in international agreements.

(Internal quotations and citations omitted).

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