- Enforcement of arbitration award—arbitral seat and public policy (P&ID v Federal Republic of Nigeria)
- What are the practical implications of this judgment?
- What was the background?
- What did the court decide?
- Case details
Arbitration analysis: The claimant, Process and Industrial Developments Limited (P&ID), sought permission to enforce a US$6.6bn plus interest arbitration award (the Final Award) against the defendant, the Federal Republic of Nigeria (FRN), pursuant to section 66 of the Arbitration Act 1996 (AA 1996). The FRN opposed the application on the basis that: (i) the seat of the arbitration was Nigeria, not London—(ii) that the Nigerian courts had set aside the award, that the tribunal did not have jurisdiction to award pre-award interest—and, (iii) that the damages were so large as to be penal and contrary to public policy. Mr Justice Butcher, in the Commercial Court, rejected each of these arguments. The judgment highlights the significance of correctly identifying the seat of the arbitration, the need for a dissatisfied party to move in a timely manner in its challenges, and the policy of the English courts to enforce arbitral awards. Written by Andrew Stafford QC, partner, and Nathaniel Barber, associate, at Kobre & Kim (UK) LLP, who represented the successful claimant in this case.
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