Cross-Border Pre-Judgment Relief in Arbitration Proceedings
In a previous post, we discussed the evolving law in cross-border pre-judgment relief in Israel. In short, Israeli courts appear to be more inclined than in the past to grant pre-judgment relief, such as an attachment of funds, in connection with a pending foreign proceeding.
A recent case confirmed that while pre-judgment relief in connection with foreign proceedings is somewhat a murky area under current Israeli civil procedure, it is clear that such relief is available for foreign arbitration proceedings. For example, if a party commences arbitration proceedings in the U.S. or England, an Israeli court would have subject-matter jurisdiction to adjudicate requests for pre-judgment relief (i.e. attachments) relating to assets located in Israel.
In Medmar Navigation SHPK, et. al. v. Dynamic Shipping Services, Ltd., Civ. Act. 59972-07-19 (Dist. Ct. Haifa, August 15, 2019), the court rejected the respondent's argument that the court did not have subject-matter jurisdiction to entertain the petitioners' request for pre-judgment relief. The court reminded the respondent that the Israeli Supreme Court has already ruled on this topic and district courts routinely adjudicate these matters.
This case serves as a reminder of the relatively broad jurisdiction Israeli courts may have to assist recovery in connection with foreign, non-Israeli arbitration proceedings. If a party to a non-Israeli arbitration knows of potential assets in Israel that could be used to collect from, that party may consider commencing ancillary proceedings in Israel to secure those assets and making recovery faster and cost-effective.
As a practice tip, the ordinary conditions for granting the relief would apply to these types of requests. In fact, a court may require more by way of pleading such as, for example, proving the applicable foreign law and demonstrating how, under that law, the petitioner has a viable cause of action and the chances of success are high.