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Clifford Chance |

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Clifford Chance | United Kingdom | 29 Jul 2021

Supreme Court rules on procedure for service of enforcement proceedings on sovereign state

In General Dynamics UK Ltd v Libya, the Supreme Court has ruled that service of formal court documentation on a state party through diplomatic channels is a necessary requirement when seeking to enforce an arbitral award against the state and that service cannot be dispensed with. In reaching its decision, the Supreme Court stressed that the procedure for service of enforcement proceedings......
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Clifford Chance | Netherlands, United Kingdom | 10 Jun 2021

Commercial Court declines to lift stay on enforcement of arbitral awards against Russia

The High Court recently declined to lift a stay of the hearing of an application for the enforcement, under the Arbitration Act 1996, of certain arbitral awards and a related jurisdictional objection by the respondent (Russia) on grounds of sovereign immunity. Among other things, a court's powers under the Arbitration Act to order an adjournment of proceedings and the payment of security are......
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Clifford Chance | United Kingdom | 22 Apr 2021

Compliance with preconditions to arbitration a matter of admissibility, not jurisdiction

The High Court recently confirmed that alleged non-compliance with the provisions of a multi-tiered dispute resolution clause is exclusively a matter of admissibility for the arbitral tribunal and cannot lead to a successful jurisdictional challenge under Section 67 of the Arbitration Act. English law is now clearly aligned with the prevailing position internationally that a tribunal should......
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Clifford Chance | United Kingdom | 11 Mar 2021

Courts' attitude towards unilateral option clauses

Unilateral option clauses provide for disputes to be referred to arbitration, but give one party the exclusive right to elect to refer a dispute to litigation before the courts; the clauses also provide for disputes to be referred to a court, but give one party the exclusive right to elect to refer the dispute to arbitration instead. Parties should exercise caution when considering whether to......
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Clifford Chance | United Kingdom | 11 Feb 2021

Court of Appeal addresses expert's duties and conflicts of interest

The Court of Appeal recently considered for the first time the question of an expert's duty to avoid a conflict of interest. The court's decision, while not deciding the point finally, means that it is unlikely that a court will now recognise such a duty as a matter of law. The issue is a matter of contract. The judgment contains a useful analysis of when conflicts can arise in related cases......
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Clifford Chance | United Kingdom | 7 Jan 2021

Supreme Court clarifies test of arbitrator impartiality and arbitrators' duty of disclosure

The Supreme Court recently unanimously upheld a Court of Appeal decision to dismiss an application to remove an arbitrator on the grounds of apparent bias. The Supreme Court confirmed the Court of Appeal's decision that arbitrators are under a duty to disclose appointments in references concerning the same or overlapping subject matter with a common party, although the Supreme Court's......
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Clifford Chance | United Kingdom | 5 Nov 2020

High Court grants unprecedented extension of time for challenges to arbitral awards where fraud alleged

The High Court recently granted an extension of time to bring challenges to arbitral awards made under the Arbitration Act. The applications were striking as it had been several years since the awards were made. While the extension granted by the court was exceptional, so too were the circumstances of the case. Here, the integrity of both the arbitration system and the court were threatened......
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Clifford Chance | United Kingdom | 22 Oct 2020

Supreme Court clarifies principles for determining law of arbitration agreement

The Supreme Court has clarified definitively the principles for ascertaining the law governing an arbitration agreement. In contrast to the Court of Appeal's earlier decision in the same case, the Supreme Court held that where the law governing an arbitration agreement is not expressly specified, a choice of main contract law (whether express or implied) will generally also apply to an......
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Clifford Chance | United Kingdom | 1 Oct 2020

High Court upholds stay of winding-up petition where debt was subject to arbitration agreement

The High Court recently upheld an order that a petitioner should be restrained from proceeding with a winding-up petition on the basis that the petition debt in question was disputed by the alleged debtor and was subject to an arbitration agreement. The decision provides assurance that in the context of a winding-up petition, the court will consider the merits of a dispute relating to a......
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Clifford Chance | United Kingdom | 2 Jul 2020

High Court rejects challenge to enforcement where defences were already raised before foreign court

The High Court recently dismissed a challenge to a previous decision to grant permission to enforce a Stockholm Chamber of Commerce award on the basis that contrary to the defendant's contention, there was a valid arbitration agreement between the parties and the defendant's arguments as to procedural irregularity had previously been raised in Swedish court proceedings, thereby giving rise to......
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