In Elektrim SA v Vivendi Universal SA and others- Butterworths Law Direct 22.1.07 the Claimant applied to the Commercial Court to have a partial arbitration award set aside on the ground of fraud, or on the basis that it was contrary to public policy. The central allegation was that the Defendants had deliberately concealed a vital memorandum in August 2001, at a crucial stage of the contractual negotiations. The Claimant contended that, had the existence of the memorandum been known, the arbitrators would not have found the agreement valid. It further contended that an extension of time should be given having regard to when the memorandum had come to light.
The Commercial Court found, on the facts, there was no evidence from which to infer that the memorandum had been deliberately concealed. In any event, the document would not have made any difference to the conclusion that the majority had reached. Even if it was assumed that the memorandum had been deliberately concealed, it could not be shown that the award had been obtained by fraud, or contrary to public policy. The necessary causative links between the (assumed) deliberate concealment and the conclusions in the award were not present.