In a judgment handed down by the English High Court last month (A v B  EWHC 952 (Comm)), the court delivered a stern warning to claimants considering the enforcement of an arbitration award which fails to establish a clear “right to payment”. The judgment also serves as a timely reminder that an application for leave to enforce an arbitration award should be made on solid legal grounds, and with full disclosure of all relevant points if made on an ex parte basis.
The English High Court (the “Court“) has refused to enforce an unchallenged arbitral award because doing so would not be in the interests of justice. In the recent case of David Sterling v Miriam Rand and Morris Rand  EWHC 2560 (Ch), the Court was asked to enforce an arbitral award of the London Beth Din (Court of the Chief Rabbi) (the “Beth Din“), which ordered the Defendants to transfer title of a disputed property to the Claimant. However, in a “serious and unusual case”, the Court held that evidence put before it justifying the requested order was inconsistent with evidence put before the Beth Din, and revealed an interested third party in the property, meaning that enforcing the award would be inequitable.