In C v D – Lawtel 5.12.07 the dispute arose out of an insurance policy on the Bermuda form providing for London arbitration with New York law to apply.
The question for determination by the Court of Appeal was whether this meant that, once an award had been made, the parties’ remedies in relation to the award were limited to those available under English law.
It held that by choosing London as the seat of arbitration, the parties were to be taken to have agreed that proceedings on the award should be only those permitted by English law. The agreement incorporated the Arbitration Act 1996 and the proper law of a contract to refer disputes to arbitration could not constitute an "agreement to the contrary" and thus import a method of challenge to the award not permitted by the seat of the arbitration – ie even if the arbitration clause was governed by the law of New York that could not qualify as an agreement ‘to the contrary’ under theArbitration Act 1996 to render the non-mandatory provisions redundant.
Accordingly the judge in this case had been right to grant an anti-suit injunction preventing the respondent from initiating proceedings in New York and also preventing the respondent from relying on New York law in any application to enforce the award.