Chinese shipyard resists multi-million-dollar claim in London arbitration proceedings

The English Commercial Court’s recent decision in Primera Maritime (Hellas) Ltd and Others v Jiangsu Eastern Heavy Industry Co Ltd and Another confirmed that matters of fact and evaluation of evidence are for the arbitrators, and it is precisely such situations where the court ought not to intervene.

In an application under section 68(2)(d) of the Arbitration Act 1996 to challenge an award for serious irregularity, on the basis the tribunal failed to deal with certain issues put to it by the parties, the court confirmed that an applicant should not subject each sentence of the tribunal’s reasoning to a minute textual analysis with a view to demonstrating that the tribunal has failed to deal with a particular issue. That is the wrong approach. The losing party to an arbitration should not nit-pick and look for inconsistencies and faults in the award.

The court held in the present case that the tribunal’s reasons were perfectly reasonable and explicable. However, even if they were not and the tribunal’s conclusion could be said to be surprising, unusual or even wrong, it was a conclusion of fact that is not susceptible to review by the court, whether under section 68 of the Arbitration Act 1996 or otherwise…

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