In Grindrod Shipping Pte Ltd v Hyundai Merchant Marine Co. Ltd, the English High Court (“the Court“) rejected an application under s68 of the Arbitration Act 1996 (“the Act“) to challenge an Award (the “Award“). Six years after the proceedings had commenced, the tribunal (“Tribunal“) issued a final award dismissing the claim under s41(3) of the Act on the ground of inordinate and inexcusable delay. Grindod Shipping challenged the award under s68 of the Act, ¬†arguing that the Tribunal’s decision was based on grounds not advanced by the respondent. The Court concluded that the issues had been sufficiently “in play” for all sides to have had a fair opportunity to respond. There was no breach of the tribunal’s duty to act fairly and impartially and therefore no procedural irregularity.
Award dismissing a claim for inordinate and inexcusable delay survives challenge in the English court
West Tankers principle unaffected by Recast Brussels Regulation; mandatory foreign jurisdictional rules do not encroach on scope of widely worded arbitration clause
In Nori Holdings Limited et al v PJSC Bank Okritie Financial Corporation  EWHC 1343 (Comm) the English court has applied the Recast Brussels Regulation, finding that the West Tankers principle remains applicable and, as a consequence, refused to grant an anti-suit injunction in relation to parallel EU court proceedings.
At the same time, it found alleged Russian mandatory jurisdictional rules referring an insolvency dispute to the Moscow Arbitrazh Court insufficient to displace the wide and general wording of an arbitration clause, with the result that it granted an anti-suit injunction in relation to non-EU proceedings. Continue reading
In the most recent decision in the Sabbagh family feud, Sabbagh v Khoury & Ors  EWHC 1330 (Comm), the English Commercial Court ordered the stay of parallel Lebanon-seated arbitration proceedings. This was despite the tribunal in that case having found that it had jurisdiction to hear it. In granting the interim injunction to restrain the pursuit of the arbitration proceedings, Mr Justice Knowles was quick to acknowledge the significance of a court that is not the supervisory court granting an injunction to prevent parties prosecuting a foreign arbitration.
Delhi High Court refuses to grant injuction restraining Vodafone’s second BIT arbitration against India
In a decision dated 7 May 2018, the Delhi High Court dismissed the Government of India’s application to declare Vodafone‚Äôs second BIT arbitration proceedings in relation to the retrospective tax liability imposed on Vodafone’s 2007 acquisition of Hutchison Whampoa‚Äôs Indian operations an abuse of process, and in so doing declined to grant a permanent injunction restraining Vodafone from continuing those arbitration proceedings. The Court granted liberty to India to bring the issue before the Tribunal in those second proceedings (under the India-UK Bilateral Investment Protection Agreement) for that Tribunal to decide on the alleged abuse of process on its own merits.
Following our report on the Global Pound Conference series, which brought together over 4000 stakeholders at 28 conferences worldwide, our analysis of the Asia Pacific results reveals different demands in Asia and Oceania.
Six Asia Pacific cities hosted conferences to assess how dispute resolution can be improved: Singapore; Hong Kong; Chandigarh, India; Bangkok, Thailand; Sydney, Australia and Auckland, New Zealand. Each conference addressed the demand side (commercial party perspectives on dispute resolution); the supply side (what advisers and providers are delivering to commercial parties); the key obstacles and challenges; and what needs to be addressed to effect change.
In Asia the data revealed a clear desire for enhanced regulation of mediation compared to Oceania. At first blush, this could be said to be rooted in civil versus common law traditions. But only one of the Asian countries to host a GPC event, Thailand, has a civil-law system. The reason appears to be more complex: enhanced regulation, particularly around enforcement, would lend credibility to mediation in Asia as a viable alternative to litigation or arbitration. This is particularly so in the context of commercial cross-border disputes. UNCITRAL’s proposed New York-style Convention on the mutual recognition and enforcement of mediation settlement agreements is likely to be applauded in Asia and may hail an inflection point for the use of mediation.
ENGLISH COURT OF APPEAL CONSIDERS DISCLOSURE OF ARBITRAL APPOINTMENTS IN RELATED OR OVERLAPPING REFERENCES
In Halliburton Company v Chubb Bermuda Insurance Ltd  EWCA Civ 817, the English Court of Appeal was asked to consider:
- whether it is possible for an arbitrator to accept multiple appointments with overlapping reference and one common party, without giving rise to doubts over impartiality?
- at what point should an arbitrator disclose these further appointments ‚Äď if at all?
The Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal, stating that, on the facts of the case, there was no real possibility that the arbitrator was biased when viewed from the perspective of a “fair minded and informed observer”. ¬†Nevertheless, the Court held that, in accordance with English law and best practice in international arbitration, disclosure should have been made. Continue reading
English High Court grants an anti-suit injunction and confirms that the choice of arbitral seat is “analogous to an exclusive jurisdiction clause”
In Atlas Power v National Transmission and Despatch Company Ltd  EWHC 1052 the English High Court granted a final anti-suit injunction to permanently restrain a national grid company owned by the Government of Pakistan (“NTDC“) from challenging an LCIA Partial Final Award in Pakistan (or anywhere other than England and Wales).
The injunction was granted on the “entirely straightforward” basis that the seat of the arbitration was London.¬† Phillips J rejected NTDC’s arguments that the courts of Pakistan had concurrent jurisdiction or that the seat of the arbitration was Lahore, Pakistan, and confirmed that an agreement on the seat of the arbitration is also an agreement on the forum for any challenges to an award.¬† Continue reading
The HKIAC has recently published its case statistics for 2017, showing a continued healthy demand for its services. The HKIAC saw a 15.7% increase in its caseload compared to 2016, with the total amount in dispute in HKIAC arbitrations doubling since last year. The statistics demonstrate that HKIAC maintains its position as one of the world’s leading arbitral institutions, serving parties throughout Asia and beyond. Continue reading
We are proud to celebrate the tenth year of the NUJS HSF National Corporate Law Moot Court Competition (“Moot“) this year. Since 2008, HSF and the WB National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata (“NUJS“) have worked together to host the Moot in Kolkata which sees participation from students from leading Indian universities. The Moot has grown to become one of the foremost competitions and to celebrate this milestone, we have published a book compiling the ten Moot problems. The book aims to showcase the problems that generations of Indian law students have dissected, together with forewords addressing the importance of mooting and oral advocacy.