When can the veil of confidentiality in arbitral proceedings be pierced?
The claimant in Westwood Shipping Lines Inc and another company v Universal Schiffartsgesellschaft MBH and another  EWCH 3837 (Comm) had been a party to arbitral proceedings in which certain documents had been disclosed to it. Subsequent to the arbitration, the claimant commenced proceedings in the High Court against the defendant (who was not a party to the arbitral proceedings) alleging unlawful means conspiracy. The allegations relied to a considerable extent on the detail of the documents in question. The claimant applied to the court to allow disclosure of the documents. In reaching its decision, the High Court considered the rule of confidentiality in arbitral proceedings and the exceptions.
One of the perceived advantages of arbitration, as opposed to litigation, is confidentiality (along with privacy). Where the seat of the arbitration is in England, confidentiality is an implied term of the arbitration agreement. (Where the seat of arbitration is overseas, it may be that the obligation of confidentiality is enshrined in statute.) The effect under English law is that the parties to the arbitration and the tribunal are duty bound to maintain the confidentiality of the hearing, documents generated and disclosed during the proceedings (even if they do not contain inherently confidential material), and the award. There are however, exceptions to this rule…
If you are registered and logged in to the site, click on the link below to read the rest of the Nabarro briefing. If not, please register or sign in with your details below.
Sign in or Register to continue reading this article
It's quick, easy and free!
It takes just 5 minutes to register. Answer a few simple questions and once completed you’ll have instant access.Register now
Why register to The Lawyer
In-depth, expert analysis into the stories behind the headlines from our leading team of journalists.
Identify the major players and business opportunities within a particular region through our series of free, special reports.
Receive your pick of The Lawyer's daily and weekly email newsletters, tailored by practice area, region and job function.
More relevant to you
To continue providing the best analysis, insight and news across the legal market we are collecting some information about who you are, what you do and where you work to improve The Lawyer and make it more relevant to you.
News from Nabarro
News from The Lawyer
Briefings from Nabarro
Choosing the right adjudicator to decide your dispute can be one of the most important and difficult aspects of the adjudication process.
In this case, the court considered a payment of funds into court as an alternative remedy to specific performance to deliver security documentation.
Analysis from The Lawyer
Nabarro senior partner and self-confessed “IT geek” Graham Stedman is heralding a major set of investments in technology ahead of the firm’s move to 125 London Wall this year.
Clients are more willing to bring claims against professional service providers but the risk to defendants is not as dramatic as it might seem