English Court Holds Arbitration Clauses In Individual Contracts Govern Where Agent Agreement Is Silent About Dispute Resolution

Herbert Smith Freehills review the English Commercial Court’s decision in Dreymoor Fertilisers Overseas PTE Ltd, where the Court dismissed challenges brought under s67 and s32 of the English Arbitration Act 1996. The authors note that the case concerned a complex set of contractual arrangements with inconsistent dispute resolution provisions and the Court needed to decide “what the parties, as reasonable business people, must be taken to have intended as to how and where disputes which might arise between them should be resolved“, and applying this “reasonable business people” test, the Court held that reasonable business people would not have intended that if there were to arise questions as to whether there had been bribery by Dreymoor which induced a number of different Sales Contracts, these were to be resolved only under the dispute resolution procedures of the Agency Agreements, rather than under the dispute resolution procedure specified in the individual Sales Contracts.

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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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