English Court Clarifies Principles When Assisting With Appointment Of Arbitrators

Appointment of arbitrators English Court grapples conflicting case law and clarifies relevant principles when asked to assist with appointments

Herbert Smith Freehills reviews the English Court’s 2017 decision in Silver Dry Bulk Company Limited v Homer Hulbert Maritime Company Limited [2017] EWHC 44 (Comm), where the English Court considered and clarified the principles which apply to an application under section 18 of the English Arbitration Act 1996 which enables a party to apply to the court to exercise its powers to give directions as to the making of tribunal appointments or make the appointments itself. The authors note that the decision endorses the higher threshold of there being a “good arguable case” that a tribunal would have jurisdiction to determine the issue, and that the court’s approach remains in favour of not interfering with decisions that fall within the ambit of an arbitral tribunal’s jurisdiction, in line with the kompetenz-kompetenz principle.

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About Phillip Rompotis

Phillip practices as a barrister and arbitrator in Hong Kong. He has over 25 years’ litigation and arbitration experience in commercial disputes relating to construction & engineering, financial services, joint venture & shareholders agreements, technology, trusts, property and landlord & tenant. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, the Singapore Institute of Arbitrators, the Malaysian Institute of Arbitrators, and a member of various lists/panels of arbitrators.

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