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Arbitration

It is extremely difficult to challenge the award of an arbitrator. The provisions under which such a challenge may be made - ss68 and 69 of the Arbitration Act 1996 - are very limited. This is demonstrated by a number of recent cases although in some of them the challenge has been successful.


Checkpoint Ltd v Strathclyde Pension Fund
[2003] EWCA Civ 84

In fixing the new rent at twice the level of the passing rent the arbitrator partly relied upon his own personal knowledge and experience in the area. The lease required the arbitrator to be a surveyor experienced in letting and valuation of similar properties situated in the same region. The tenants application to set aside the award was dismissed.
    "The best that I can do to provide an acceptable test is to reformulate the question in this way: is the information upon which the arbitrator has relied information of the kind and within the range of knowledge one would reasonably expect the arbitrator to have acquired if, as required by the terms of this lease, he is experienced in the letting and/or valuation of property which is of a similar nature to the premises, is situate in the same region and used for purposes similar to those authorised under the lease. If he uses knowledge of that kind he acts fairly.." (Ward LJ, paras 31 and 32).

If an arbitrator draws on knowledge outside that field he is no longer assuming the role of an impartial arbitrator but that of an advocate.


Guardcliffe Properties Ltd v City & St James
[2003] EWHC 215 (Ch); [2003] 25 EG 143 (Ch D).

A case where the arbitrator's award was remitted to the arbitrator for reconsideration under s68 of the Arbitration Act 1996 because he made certain major assumptions without making those clear to the parties and without giving them the opportunity to comment. These were serious irregularities that would cause substantial injustice.


Warborough Investments Ltd v S Robinson & Sons (Holdings) Ltd
[2003] EWCA Civ 751.

A different conclusion was reached in this case where the parties surveyors conducted the arbitration on the basis of written reports. It was suggested that the procedure that was adopted in the case for the exchange of reports did not ... THIS IS AN EXTRACT OF THE FULL TEXT. TO GET THE FULL TEXT, SEE BELOW

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