USA District Court Remands Unreasoned Award To Arbitrator For Clarification

Baker McKenzie review the decision of the Southern District of New York in Smarter Tools Inc. v. Chongqing SENCI Import & Export Trade Co., No. 18-cv-2714 (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 26, 2019) where, following a hearing in New York, the parties requested a “reasoned award” from the arbitrator.  The arbitrator issued a final award of only six pages, making no findings as to whether any generators provided by SENCI were defective or non-compliant.

In the court proceedings, STI requested, inter alia, that the court vacate the award on the basis that the arbitrator had exceeded his authority by failing to issue a reasoned award.  The court held that, because the parties agreed that the award should be reasoned, the arbitrator had exceeded his authority in issuing an award that did not meet that standard but denied both STI’s motion to vacate the award and SENCI’s motion to confirm the award. Instead, it determined that the proper remedy was to remand the award to the arbitrator for clarification of his findings.

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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