- India—Supreme Court clarifies role of a seat in arbitration (BGS SGS SOMA JV v NHPC Ltd)
- What are the practical implications of the decision?
- What was the background?
- What did the Supreme Court decide?
- Maintainability of section 37 appeal before the High Court
- The juridical seat of arbitration proceedings
- Tests for determination of ‘seat’
- Application of the tests to the facts of the case
Arbitration analysis: A December 2019 decision of a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court of India, overturning previous case law on the matter, clarified the role of the seat in an arbitration, holding that, unless there are any contrary indications, the designation of a ‘venue’ in an arbitration clause can indicate the seat. The Supreme Court confirmed that the choice of a seat automatically conferred jurisdiction on the courts at such seat for the purposes of interim orders and challenges to an award. The decision has been followed by the Bombay High Court but not in a subsequent Supreme Court case. The International Dispute Resolution and Investigations Practice at Nishith Desai Associates discuss the decision and the problems in determining the seat, which it sought to address.
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