- AA 1996, s 68 serious irregularity challenge must not be a challenge to the end result (Knowles v Celtic Bioenergy)
- What are the practical implications of this case?
- What was the background?
- The costs dispute
- What did the court decide?
- Case details
Arbitration analysis: In the context of a long-running and complex set of arbitral disputes, Celtic Bioenergy Ltd (Celtic) sought unsuccessfully to challenge an ad hoc arbitration award relating to the questions of costs between Celtic and Knowles Ltd (Knowles) on the grounds of serious irregularity pursuant to section 68(2)(a) of the Arbitration Act 1996 (AA 1996). Mr Justice Waksman’s decision in the Technology and Construction Court confirms the high threshold for AA 1996, s 68 challenges. The intention of AA 1996 is to curtail the extent of court intervention in the arbitral process and to protect the intended finality of arbitral awards. Not only must a party show that the tribunal has gone so wrong in its conduct of the arbitration that justice calls out for it to be corrected, but the secondary hurdle of demonstrating substantial injustice must be met. Celtic’s challenge failed on both points. Written by Louise Oakley, knowledge lawyer at Baker McKenzie.
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