English Court Confirms No Serious Irregularity If An Issue Decided By The Tribunal Is In Play

Reliance v Union of India English Court confirms that there is no serious irregularity under s68(2)(a) if an issue of construction decided by the tribunal is “squarely in play”

Herbert Smith Freehills review the English Commercial Court’s decision in Reliance Industries Limited & Ors v The Union of India [2018] EWHC 822 (Comm), where the Court considered a number of challenges to parts of an arbitration award brought under sections 67, 68 and 69 of the Arbitration Act 1996. The authors observe that the decision provides useful guidance regarding the requirements to be satisfied should a party wish to challenge an award due to a “serious irregularity” under the Act. In particular, the Court confirmed that the general duty under s.33 of the Act to give each party a reasonable opportunity to present its case was satisfied if the “essential building blocks” of the tribunal’s analysis and reasoning were in play in relation to an issue, even where the argument (in this case on a point of construction) was not articulated in the way adopted by the tribunal.

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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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