International Alltex Corporation v Lawler Creations Ltd

JurisdictionIreland
CourtHigh Court
Judgment Date22 Oct 1965
International Alltex Corporation v. Lawler Creations Ltd.
INTERNATIONAL ALLTEX CORPORATION
Plaintiffs
and
LAWLER CREATIONS LIMITED
Defendants.

Private international law - Foreign judgment - Whether any submission to jurisdiction of foreign court - Evidence - Award by foreign arbitrator in favour of plaintiff - Award confirmed by judgment of foreign court - Action in Ireland based on foreign judgment - Express submission by defendant to jurisdiction of foreign arbitrator - No such submission to jurisdiction of foreign court.

Summary Summons.

The plaintiffs, International Alltex Corporation (of New York), claimed payment of a sum of money which they alleged was due to them by the defendants, Lawler Creations Ltd. (incorporated in the Republic of Ireland), on foot of a foreign judgment in personam, together with interest on the said sum and costs. The facts have been summarised in the head-note and are fully stated in the judgment of Kenny J.,post.

The plaintiff corporation, incorporated in the State of New York, agreed with an Irish buyer to sell him certain goods by a contract which was made in Ireland and which provided for the settlement of disputes by arbitration in New York City in accordance with the rules of the American Arbitration Association. When a dispute arose the plaintiffs initiated arbitration proceedings in New York City in accordance with the terms of the contract, which proceedings terminated in a monetary award being made by the arbitrator in favour of the plaintiffs. Subsequently, the plaintiffs instituted proceedings in the Supreme Court of the State of New York and that Court on the 18th August 1964, made an order confirming the arbitrator's award and directing that judgment be entered against the buyer for $3625.83. The plaintiffs then issued and served in Ireland a summons claiming from the defendant company (which accepted responsibility for any liability of the buyer) the sum of £1,299 0s. 0d., being the sum equivalent to $3625.83 at the rate of exchange prevailing on the 18th August, 1964, and the sum of £7 16s. 6d. for interest. The buyer had not appeared in either the arbitration proceedings or in the proceedings before the Supreme Court of the State of New York but he had received notice of both proceedings; he wag an Irish citizen and had no residence or place of business in the United States of America. At the hearing of the summons the defendant Company contended that it was not liable for the payment of the sums claimed because the buyer had not submitted to the jurisdiction of the foreign court.

Held by Kenny J. 1, that the buyer having submitted to the jurisdiction of the foreign arbitrator, must necessarily have submitted to the jurisdiction of a competent foreign court exercised to confirm and enforce a valid award of such arbitrator and that the buyer was bound by the order of such court.

2, That the plaintiffs were accordingly entitled to judgment for the sum claimed in the summons.

Cur. adv. vult.

Kenny J. :—

The plaintiffs are a corporation incorporated in the State of New York. The defendants, who are a company which was incorporated in the Republic of Ireland on the 22nd November, 1963, are not registered, nor have they an office, in the United States of America. Mr. Fintan Lawler, who is the managing director of the defendants, had carried on business in Dublin under the name of Lawler Creations before the defendants were formed. This action relates to contracts made on the 9th November, 1962 (when the defendants did not exist), between the plaintiffs and Mr. Lawler but it has been agreed by counsel that the defendant Company accept liability if Mr. Lawler is liable for any amount under the proceedings in the United States of America which were taken by the plaintiffs. Mr. Lawler is a citizen of Ireland and has never been resident or had a place of business in the United States.

On the 9th November, 1962, the president of the plaintiffs and an authorised representative of Mr. Lawler signed two documents called sales confirmations. These related to the sale by the plaintiffs to Mr. Lawler of embossed and printed cotton goods which were to be manufactured in the United States and shipped to the Republic of Ireland. There were two printed clauses on each of these documents, and the first read:—"This sale is subject to final acceptance and confirmation by home office." The second read:—"Any controversies arising out of or relating to this...

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    ...& SON V THE OWNER OF THE STEAMSHIP HATTERAS 1933 IR 675 RSC O.11 r3(1) INTERNATIONAL ALLTEX CORPORATION V LAWLOR CREATIONS LTD 1965 IR 264 OVERSEAS FOOD IMPORTERS & DISTRIBUTORS V BRANDT 1978 93 DLR 317 HILTON V GUYOT 159 US 113 LETT V LETT 1906 IR 618 FRY ON SPECIFIC PERFORMANCE ......
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