In the case of Noble Denton Middle East and Another v Noble Denton International Limited  EWHC 2574, Mr Justice Burton was asked to decide two points. First, whether an arbitrator should be appointed by virtue of an application made under s. 18 of the Arbitration Act 1996; and, second, whether those arbitration proceedings should be stayed in favour of Texas proceedings.
Section 18 allows the court to make orders in relation to the constitution of an arbitration's tribunal where the procedure to constitute such a tribunal has failed. Mr Justice Burton found that, as the resisting party acknowledged that there was a good arguable case that there was an English arbitration clause governing the dispute between the parties, it was not for him to decide the jurisdiction of the dispute. As a consequence, he appointed the named arbitrator. He also refused the application for a stay of proceedings as he found that an English arbitration clause was equivalent to a exclusive jurisdiction clause. He explained that, in order to override such a clause, he would need to be presented with very strong reasons why another jurisdiction was the more appropriate forum. He found that there was no such strong evidence in this case; consequently, he refused to issue the stay of proceedings.