Limitation periods in arbitration (England & Wales)
Produced in partnership with Ben Sanderson

The following Arbitration practice note produced in partnership with Ben Sanderson provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Limitation periods in arbitration (England & Wales)
  • The limitation statutory framework for arbitration proceedings
  • Contractual agreements on limitation
  • Enforcement of arbitral awards and limitation
  • Foreign limitation periods—conflicts of law

Limitation periods in arbitration (England & Wales)

When advising whether to commence arbitration proceedings, it is important to ensure that limitation issues have been considered and that the claim or cause of action is not time-barred. As with commencing domestic court proceedings, starting an arbitration under the law of England and Wales is subject to various statutory provisions. In addition, it is also important to consider any contractual agreement between the parties on the issue of limitation.

In order for time to stop running, an arbitration must be 'commenced'. The date of commencement will be determined by the legislation and/or arbitration rules under which the arbitration is conducted. The procedure for commencing arbitration tends to be less onerous than for commencing court proceedings. In arbitration, a short notice may be sufficient to stop time running for limitation purposes and the claimant’s full pleading may not be required to be served until a later date. For further details on how to ensure an arbitration is commenced properly, see Practice Notes: AA 1996—starting an arbitration and Commencement date of an arbitration under the AA 1996 and arbitration rules.

If an arbitration is not commenced within time, the defendant will have the right to challenge the jurisdiction of the tribunal. Such an application is made to the tribunal itself (AA 1996, ss 30 to 33). For further details, see Practice

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