Search terms: Arbitration, United Kingdom
The extent to which parties may agree to submit intra-corporate disputes - in particular claims under company legislation - to arbitration has long been uncertain. The Court of Appeal recently ruled in favour of the arbitrability of a shareholder's unfair prejudice claim brought under Section 994 of the Companies Act 2006 and has provided important guidance on the arbitrability of corporate disputes more generally.
The Supreme Court ruling in Jivraj v Hashwani removes the question mark over the legality of provisions in certain institutional rules which restrict the nationality of arbitrators. After much recent uncertainty over nationality criteria, the ruling marks a welcome return to business as usual for those involved in arbitration in the United Kingdom.
The Technology and Construction Court recently considered whether a party could reject a nominated adjudicator by abandoning the reference under the Housing Grants Construction and Regeneration Act 1996 Part 2. The case discloses a gap in the act: it appears that a referring party can withhold service of referral documentation with a view to obtaining the appointment of another adjudicator which is acceptable to it.
A recent Court of Appeal decision provides a salutary warning to parties - even where they are partially successful - of the potential adverse costs consequences of refusing to mediate. It represents another endorsement of mediation by the Court of Appeal, which exercised its discretion to make no order as to costs.
A High Court decision confirms that disputes which would otherwise be raised through an unfair prejudice petition before the courts can be referred to arbitration. It reflects the established pro-arbitration stance of the English courts by recognising that parties should be free to agree how their disputes are resolved.
The UK government has committed to greater use of mediation and other alternative dispute resolution (ADR) in the civil justice system, announcing its intention to consult on wider use of ADR in the civil courts. A study estimates that the government's 2001 pledge to seek to resolve public-sector disputes by ADR has saved £36 million, and that a similar move in Scotland could save £40 million in four years.