In Nakanishi Kikai Kogyosho Limited v Intermare Transport GMBH  EWHC 994 (Comm) the applicants applied summarily under section 72 Arbitration Act 1996 for declarations that they were not a party to arbitration agreements contained in two charterparties, and for an injunction restraining the Defendant from proceeding against them in arbitration. The applicants submitted that the matter was suitable for summary determination on the grounds that: as a matter of construction, they were not a party to either of the charterparties in dispute; and that the Defendant had no real prospect of showing that the purported agent of the applicant, Mr Watanabe, had actual or ostensible authority to enter into the charterparties on the applicant’s behalf. Smith J ruled that the facts surrounding the formation of the charterparties were too obscure for the court to be able to make a summary decision on whether or not they had in fact been concluded. He declined to grant summary judgment in relation to the authority of Mr Watanabe to conclude the charterparties on much the same basis. He considered that the Defendant had a real prospect of proving that Mr Watanabe had been held out by the applicants as having authority to conclude the charters and that the quality of the evidence submitted by the applicants precluded him from making a summary decision on this point.
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