Court upholds LMAA tribunal’s jurisdiction to rule on costs

In Sun United Maritime Ltd v Kasteli Marine Inc (IMME) [2014] EWHC 1476 (Comm), the Commercial Court affirmed the jurisdiction of the appointed arbitrators to rule on whether the parties reached a binding agreement regarding the recoverable costs of the arbitration.

In a London Maritime Arbitration Association (LMAA) charterparty dispute between Sun United as charterers and Kasteli as owners, owners’ claims had been secured by money paid into an escrow account in the name of charterers’ solicitors.

There were claims and cross claims in the arbitration, but charterers ended up as the paying party. The principal/interest sums payable were paid from the escrow account to owners’ solicitors; the balance of the escrow funds was sufficient to cover charterers’ liability for costs…

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