In the recent decision of Sonact Group Limited v. Premuda SPA  EWHC 3820 (Comm), the English High Court confirmed its pro-arbitration approach to the interpretation of arbitration agreements. The Court held that an arbitration agreement contained in a charterparty contract could apply in relation to disputes arising out of a subsequent settlement agreement contained in correspondence between the parties relating to the sum allegedly due under the charterparty. The Court concluded the parties could be taken to have intended that the arbitral tribunal under the principal agreement would also have jurisdiction over disputes arising out of a settlement agreement between the same parties, despite the absence of an express arbitration clause in the settlement agreement.
Tag: Settlement agreement
Practitioners and arbitral institutions alike are constantly looking for ways to smooth and improve the arbitral process. One of the latest contribution to this effort is a June 2014 guide from the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) entitled “Effective Management of Arbitration: A Guide for In-House Counsel and Other Party Representatives” (the Guide).
The recent judgment in Gujarat NRE Coke Limited and Shri Arun Kumar Jagatramka v Coeclerici Asia (Pte) Limited  EWHC 1987 (Comm) confirms that, in a challenge to an arbitral award under section 68 of the Arbitration Act 1996, the English court is unwilling to intervene in a tribunal’s decisions except in extreme cases.
The case highlights the practical advantages of suspending, rather than terminating, arbitration proceedings until all obligations under a settlement agreement have been fulfilled.