Herbert Smith Freehills review the English High Court’s decision in Autoridad del Canal de Panama v Sacyr SA and others  EWHC 2228 (Comm), where a consortium of construction companies was unsuccessful in obtaining a stay of court proceedings pending before the Court even though parallel related ICC arbitration proceedings were ongoing. The authors note that the Court rejected the application for a stay under section 9 of the English Arbitration Act 1996 (s9) on the basis that the proceedings, which concerned advance payment guarantees governed by English law and containing exclusive English jurisdiction clauses, concerned a “matter” outside the scope of the arbitration agreements. Finding that there was no compelling case for a stay to be granted under its inherent jurisdiction, the decision illustrates the practical difficulties, costs and delays, caused when parties agree that disputes related to the same construction project are to be determined in different fora.
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.View