Arbitration Links - Linklaters
  • Topic: Challenges & Set Aside

Paris Court of Appeal sets aside ECT arbitration award

03 October 2017 Clément Fouchard, France

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The French courts have had very few opportunities to rule on the setting aside of an investment treaty arbitration award. For this reason, the decision of the Paris Court of Appeal in Moldova v société Komstroy (Court d'appel de Paris, Pôle 1- Chambre 1, République de Moldavie v société Komstroy, 12 avril 2016, n°13/22531) is of great interest. It deals with the degree of control over an investment arbitration award by the French courts and the definition of the legal concept of investment in the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT).

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Post-award challenges to impartiality and independence in Germany

13 September 2017 Julia Grothaus; Rupert Bellinghausen, Europe; Germany

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Both the setting aside of arbitral awards and the impartiality and independence of arbitrators and experts are recurring topics in international arbitration. They particularly converge when facts giving rise to doubts about impartiality and independence become known only after an arbitral award has been rendered. In a recent decision, the German Federal Court of Justice abandoned long-standing German case law and set aside an award after an expert nominated by the arbitral tribunal had failed to disclose facts relating to his impartiality and independence. As the relevant statutory provisions apply to both experts and arbitrators, the decision will be highly relevant for challenge and enforcement proceedings in Germany.

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Some reflections on unmeritorious challenges to arbitrators

22 August 2017 Christian Albanesi, Europe; Latin America; United States of America

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There is a general perception that unmeritorious challenges to arbitrators are on the rise. Is this really the case, how can they be identified and what can be done about them? Christian Albanesi, our Head of Latin American Arbitration, offers some thoughts.

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High Court restates test for extending the time to challenge arbitral awards

15 August 2017 Adrien Canivet, England & Wales

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In Rollitt (trading as CD Consult) v Ballard [2017] EWHC 1500 (TCC), the High Court rejected an application for permission to appeal an arbitral award on a point of law under section 69 of the Arbitration Act 1996 (“the Act”).  In doing so, it restated the test for extending the time to challenge an award under section 79 of the Act.

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When, under English law, can damages be reduced for benefits obtained following a breach of contract?

20 July 2017 Francesca Fraser, England & Wales

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On 28 June 2017, the UK Supreme Court handed down judgment in Globalia Business Travel SAU (formerly TravelPlan SAU) of Spain v Fulton Shipping Inc "The New Flamenco" [2017] UKSC 43 in which it unanimously allowed an appeal on a point of English law under s.69 Arbitration Act 1996 (the "Act"). The case concerned the extent to which benefits obtained by an innocent party following a breach of contract should be taken into account in assessing its damages for that breach.

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English court allows challenge to New York Convention award based on contravention of public policy arising from fraud

12 July 2017 Joanne Finnegan, England & Wales

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The High Court has allowed a claim that a New York Convention award was obtained by fraud to go to trial, even though it was upheld by the seat's courts.

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English Commercial Court rejects suggestion that appointment of an arbitrator in related arbitrations constitutes apparent bias

06 July 2017 Charlotte Luker-Coombs, England & Wales; Europe

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The recent case of H v L & Others [2017] EWHC (Comm) 137 confirms that the appointment of an arbitrator in related references (and his/her failure to disclose those appointments) will not of itself create an appearance of bias so as to justify his/her removal under s.24(1)(a) Arbitration Act 1996 (the “Act”). The judgment summarises the test for apparent bias in an English seated arbitration and emphasises the integrity and impartiality of arbitrators as a central tenet of the same.  Separately, Popplewell J has also confirmed that orders granted pursuant to powers under the Act cannot be varied under CPR 3.1(7).

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English High Court clarifies criteria applicable to s.70(7) of the Arbitration Act 1996

29 June 2017 Erin Marsh, England & Wales

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In Erdenet Mining Corporation LLC v ICBC Standard Bank PLC & Others [2017] EWHC 1090 (Comm) the High Court clarified the criteria applicable to the exercise of its discretion under s.70(7) of the Arbitration Act 1996 (the “Act”), pursuant to which the Court may order (in relation to an arbitration seated in England) that any money payable under an arbitral award shall be brought into court or otherwise secured pending the determination of a challenge to the award under ss.67, 68 or 69 of the Act.

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Luxembourg court of appeal refuses enforcement of annulled Pemex award

08 June 2017 Katrien Baetens, Europe; Luxembourg

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In a judgment dated 27 April 2017, the Luxembourg Court of Appeal has confirmed its earlier jurisprudence by refusing the enforcement of a US$300 million ICC award against the Mexican state oil and gas company Pemex that was set aside at the seat of arbitration.

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The parties’ ability to terminate proceedings for the annulment of an arbitration award: recent developments in Spain

06 June 2017 Emma Morales, Europe; Spain

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On 4 April 2017, the Madrid High Court of Justice ("TSJM"), the court in Spain that handles appeals for the annulment of awards, issued two decisions (case numbers 43/2016 and 63/2016) in which it confirms the doctrine already advanced by means of a previous judgment rendered by the same court (judgment of the TSJM dated 28 February 2017 [JUR 2017/ 89938]).

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English High Court rejects attempt to obtain disclosure from arbitrators in support of an application to remove them

18 May 2017 Adrien Canivet, England & Wales; Europe

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In P v. Q & Others [2017] EWHC 148 (Comm), a party to an arbitration sought an order, in support of its application to remove two arbitrators, that the tribunal disclose material to it. The High Court dismissed this request; it recognised that arbitrators’ adjudicative materials are, like judges’, immune from disclosure.  It also clarified the scope of that immunity.

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U.S. Appeals Court rejects conflict-of-interest challenge to London award

08 May 2017 John Akin; Adam Lurie, North America; United States of America

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In a March 31 decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit affirmed a lower court’s decision to confirm an $18.5 million arbitral award entered by a London tribunal in favor of the Belize Bank Ltd. (“the Bank”), rejecting an argument from the government of Belize (“Belize”) that an arbitrator’s alleged conflict of interest violates U.S. public policy. The decision affirms the principle that barristers in the same English chambers—unlike lawyers in an American law firm—are presumed to be independent practitioners.

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UK Supreme Court on security and challenging enforcement of arbitral awards

20 April 2017 Rebecca James, England & Wales; Europe

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The UK Supreme Court has recently overturned a ruling of the Court of Appeal which effectively required the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (“NNPC”) to provide security as a condition to challenging the enforcement of an award on public policy grounds pursuant to section 103(3) of the Arbitration Act 1996 (the “Arbitration Act).  This decision represents the latest development in a long-running legal saga involving protracted proceedings to challenge the award in Nigeria as well as enforcement proceedings in England.

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A heightened level of review of arbitral awards in the context of money laundering allegations

11 April 2017 Johanne Brocas, Europe; France

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The Paris Appeal Court has annulled an arbitral award rendered against the Kirghizstan Republic for violation of the BIT between Latvia and Kirghizstan on the ground that the enforcement of the award in France would result in allowing the investor to benefit from fraudulent money laundering activities.

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“Adverse inference” doctrine endorsed by the Paris Appeal Court

11 April 2017 Johanne Brocas, Europe; France

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In a decision of 28 February 2017, the Paris Appeal Court held that the IBA Rules on the Taking of Evidence in International Arbitration 2010 (the IBA Rules of Evidence) were applicable as long as the rules were agreed upon by the parties in the Procedural Order n°1.  Further, the court ruled that the tribunal was entitled to apply the adverse inference doctrine provided at Article 9(5) of the IBA Rules of Evidence.

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Investment Arbitration in Australia: an update

31 January 2017 Alexander Fawke, Asia-Pacific; Australia

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The past year has seen a number of major developments in international arbitration in Australia, including the conclusion of new trade deals and the long-running Phillip Morris investment arbitration. This article surveys the most important changes in case law, legislation, investor-state dispute resolution and local arbitral institutions in the past year.

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International commercial arbitration in Australia: recent developments

31 January 2017 Alexander Fawke, Asia-Pacific; Australia

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Australia’s body of arbitration case law continued to grow in the past year, with increasing breadth and sophistication. Key cases covered the public policy ground for resisting enforcement; the appropriateness of awarding costs on the indemnity basis when an application to resist enforcement is refused; and non-signatories to arbitration agreements.

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Escalation Clauses: no longer a tripping hazard for arbitrations with seat in Germany?

01 December 2016 Julia Grothaus; Dr. Rupert Bellinghausen, Europe; Germany

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Escalation clauses need careful drafting to be enforceable and commercially useful. There is uncertainty as to the consequences of the parties’ non-compliance with escalation clauses providing for ‘final’ dispute resolution by means of arbitration. Will it affect the jurisdiction of the arbitral tribunal or the merits of the claim and can an arbitral award even be set aside? In two recent decisions, the German Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof) clarified that, in arbitral proceedings seated in Germany, an arbitral tribunal is entitled to assume jurisdiction irrespective of whether the parties complied with the escalation clause.

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Who should know the law: the arbitrators or the parties?

03 October 2016 Cezary Wisniewski; Alicja Zielinska-Eisen, Europe; Poland

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What could be done at an early stage in the proceedings to apply the principle of iura novit curia in a way that would be acceptable to both common law and civil law practitioners and prevent or limit challenges to the arbitral award?

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