The New Zealand and UK Arbitration Acts generally require court proceedings to be stayed if the parties have agreed to resolve disputes through arbitration.

In a recent address to the Insolvency Lawyers Association, the new Chancellor of the High Court, Sir Geoffrey Vos, discussed briefly the effect of that statutory stay upon winding-up petitions.

In Salford Estates (No 2) Ltd v Altomart Ltd (No 2) [2014] EWCA Civ 1575, with which Vos J agreed, the English Court of Appeal concluded that the mandatory stay when there is an agreement to arbitrate does not apply to winding-up petitions. However, the Court considered that (except in exceptional circumstances) when there is a dispute in relation to the existence of a particular debt, the Court should exercise its discretion to stay the winding-up application and compel the parties to resolve the dispute through arbitration.

Read the presentation here.