CLAIMANT FAILS TO RECOVER THE COSTS OF ITS APPLICATION TO REMOVE AN ARBITRATOR, WHERE THE ARBITRATOR HAD RESIGNED BEFORE THE TRIAL IN THE ENGLISH HIGH COURT

In a recent decision (available on an anonymised basis here), the English High Court (the “Court”) considered a claimant (“C”)’s claim for its costs of an application under section 24 (“s24”) of the Arbitration Act 1996 (the “Arbitration Act”) for the removal of an arbitrator (“X”) from LCIA arbitration proceedings (the “LCIA Arbitration”). X had already resigned and C’s claim for costs remained the only issue to be determined by the Court. The decision is of interest for its focus on a rarely invoked provision of the Arbitration Act, and the unusual circumstances surrounding the claim for costs.

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English court sets aside arbitration award for serious irregularity due to tribunal’s non-disclosure of novel point central to award

The odds of successfully challenging an arbitral award in the English Courts on the basis of s68 of the Arbitration Act 1996 (serious irregularity) remain low. In the recent past over 95% of s68 challenges have been unsuccessful and in the period from 2015 to 2017 only 3 out of 112 s68 appeals succeeded, approximately 2.7% of applications made.

However, the English High Court has recently set aside an arbitral award for serious irregularity under s68(2)(a) in the case of RJ and another v HB [2018] EWHC 2833 (Comm). This case is a relatively rare and interesting example of a successful s68(2)(a) challenge.

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