- Court upholds tribunal’s jurisdiction to determine remedies for breach of arbitration agreement and rejects claim for state immunity (London Steam-Ship v Spain, M/T ‘Prestige’)
- What are the practical implications of this case?
- What was the background?
- What did the court decide?
- Case details
Arbitration analysis: A challenge by the Kingdom of Spain (Spain) to an order granting permission to serve an arbitration claim form out of the jurisdiction was rejected by Mr Justice Henshaw in the Commercial Court. London Steam-Ship Owners’ Mutual Insurance Association Ltd (the Club) sought the appointment by the court of a sole arbitrator under section 18 of the Arbitration Act 1996 (AA 1996). The claims referred to arbitration were for remedies arising out of Spain’s pursuit in its courts of claims against the Club, brought in breach of an arbitration agreement providing for arbitration in London. Spain argued that (i) it was immune from all suits brought by the Club under the State Immunity Act 1978 (SIA 1978), and/or, (ii) the court lacked jurisdiction to appoint an arbitrator, as the claims did not fall within the scope of the arbitration clause. The court held that (i) Spain did not have state immunity, and, (ii) the court did have jurisdiction to appoint a sole arbitrator in respect of all bar one of the Club’s claims. Written by Paul Toms, barrister, at Quadrant Chambers.
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