Partial awards in arbitration
Produced in partnership with CMS

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

  • Partial awards in arbitration
  • A partial award is not interim relief
  • When to apply for a partial award
  • How to apply for a partial award
  • Partial awards—pros and cons
  • Enforcement of a partial award

Partial awards in arbitration

Parties to an arbitration may wish to make an application to the arbitral tribunal for an award to be made on a specific issue that forms part of the claim, before the final award is made that addresses all the issues in the dispute. Such an award, dealing with only some of the issues in dispute, is commonly known as a 'partial award'.

A partial award is not only available on the application of a party; a tribunal may also, as master of its own procedure, decide that it will deal with certain issues by way of a partial award or awards.

A partial award is final in respect of the claims it addresses. An example of a case in which a partial award was held to be final is Emirates Trading Agency v Sociedade de Fomento Industrial Private.

Subject to the parties' agreement to the contrary, the arbitral tribunal has the power to make more than one award at different times in the arbitral proceedings (see, for example, section 47 of the Arbitration Act 1996 (AA 1996)). The parties can expressly agree to exclude the tribunal’s power pursuant to AA 1996, s 47(1), although this is rare. The tribunal’s power to make a partial award is a discretionary power. The tribunal will consider whether a partial award would be either fair or reasonable

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