Substantive law of the dispute in arbitration (England and Wales)
Produced in partnership with Charles Spragge of Druces
Substantive law of the dispute in arbitration (England and Wales)

The following Arbitration guidance note Produced in partnership with Charles Spragge of Druces provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Substantive law of the dispute in arbitration (England and Wales)
  • The law applicable to the substance of the dispute
  • Why does the choice of applicable law matter?
  • How is the applicable law of the contract determined?
  • Other considerations
  • Floating law clauses
  • Floating choice of forum clauses

BREXIT: As of exit day (31 January 2020), the UK is no longer an EU Member State. However, in accordance with the Withdrawal Agreement, the UK has entered an implementation period, during which it continues to be subject to EU law. This has an impact on this Practice Note. For further guidance, see Practice Note: Brexit—arbitration law and practice in England and Wales and News Analysis: Brexit Bulletin—key updates, research tips and resources.

This Practice Note considers which laws an arbitral tribunal, seated in England and Wales or Northern Ireland, should apply when making its substantive award and what rules it should follow to determine what those laws are where the parties have made no express choice. This Practice Note specifically addresses international arbitrations, which, for these purposes, means arbitrations in which one or more of the parties is domiciled outside England and Wales or where the contract is to be performed overseas.

The law applicable to the substance of the dispute

In general terms, the applicable law of a contract is the system of private law that defines the rights and obligations of the parties to the contract and prescribes the remedies available from a court or tribunal for failure to perform any of those obligations.

In the language of the European Regulation on the Law Applicable to Contractual Obligations