Inconsistent Dispute Resolution Clauses – “One-Stop Shop” Or “Centre Of Gravity”?

Inconsistent dispute resolution clauses - when should the one-stop shop give way to gravity

DLA Piper reviews the decisions in Deutsche Bank AG v Comune di Savona [2018] EWCA Civ 1740, and Eurochem v Dreymoor [2018] EWHC 909 (Comm), providing a brief overview of inconsistent or competing dispute resolution clauses in projects that involve a suite of documents (e.g. large scale energy and infrastructure projects with complex financing arrangements and guarantees); and transactions involving certain financial products (e.g. agreements to buy or sell interest rate swaps pursuant to a wider “master” agreement).

The authors consider that when dealing with inconsistent dispute resolution clauses, it is important to distinguish between a Fiona Trust case and a Trust Risk case: where the inconsistent dispute resolution clauses are in the same contract, parties should first consider the “one stop” presumption, though remembering that it is only a presumption; where multiple, related contracts exist with competing provisions, the parties should instead locate the “centre of gravity”. DLA concludes that careful drafting can avoid such issues arising, and advice should always be sought before entering into an agreement or set of agreements. … READ MORE

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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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