Find a Barrister

Find an Arbitrator

Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Search in posts
Search in pages
people

Contact

Contact with chambers should be made through the Practice Management Team. They are happy to discuss client requirements and provide further information on such matters as the expertise and experience of individual members, fees, working practices and languages spoken. We have members able to work in French, German, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Swedish, Greek and Chinese (Mandarin).

Outside working hours, a member of our team is always available to be contacted on matters of an urgent nature. Contact should be made using the Chambers main number or email.

To contact our Singapore office, please contact our BD Director, Asia, Rachel Foxton. Out of office hours calls will automatically be diverted to our clerking team in London.

London

20 Essex Street
London
WC2R 3AL

enquiries@twentyessex.com
t: +44 20 7842 1200
DX 0009 Lond/Chan Lane

Singapore

28 Maxwell Road
#02-03
Maxwell Chambers Suites
Singapore 069120

singapore@twentyessex.com
t: +65 62257230

Contact

Contact with chambers should be made through the Practice Management Team. They are happy to discuss client requirements and provide further information on such matters as the expertise and experience of individual members, fees, working practices and languages spoken. We have members able to work in French, German, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Swedish, Greek and Chinese (Mandarin).

Outside working hours, a member of our team is always available to be contacted on matters of an urgent nature. Contact should be made using the Chambers main number or email.

To contact our Singapore office, please contact our BD Director, Asia, Rachel Foxton. Out of office hours calls will automatically be diverted to our clerking team in London.

London

20 Essex Street
London
WC2R 3AL

enquiries@twentyessex.com
t: +44 20 7842 1200
DX 0009 Lond/Chan Lane

Singapore

28 Maxwell Road
#02-03
Maxwell Chambers Suites
Singapore 069120

singapore@twentyessex.com
t: +65 62257230

14/03/2020

Midnight Marine Ltd & Another v Thomas Miller Speciality Underwriting Agency Ltd (The “Labhauler”)

Midnight Marine Ltd & Another v Thomas Miller Speciality Underwriting Agency Ltd (The “Labhauler”) [2018] EWHC 3431 [2019] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 399 [2018] 12 WLUK 157

Summary

The Court recommended additional procedures to dispose of hopeless arbitration applications:

  • Applications for permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal in respect of paper refusals of s69 permission should be dealt with on paper by the Judge who refused permission.
  • Where a s68 appeal is dismissed on paper, an oral hearing of an application to set aside that dismissal should be heard by the same Judge who dealt with the matter on paper, should be no more than 30 minutes, should not be attended by the respondent and should require only one succinct additional document to be served.


Background

The claimant’s s68 and s69 applications were dismissed on paper by Mr Justice Butcher. The Claimant sought (1) an oral hearing of its application to set aside the s68 dismissal and (2) permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal against the refusal of s69 permission.

An oral hearing took place before the then Mr Justice Males at which argument was as full as it would have been at the s68 application itself. The parties incurred costs of over £150,000.

Decision

The Judge recommended procedures to dispose of unmeritorious challenges quickly and cheaply; “The importance of arbitral finality is well known and the court is required by section 1(a) of the 1996 Act to have regard to the need to avoid unnecessary delay and expense.” [36]

The Judge clarified that CCG §O8.5 “is intended to be a summary procedure for identifying and disposing economically and promptly of hopeless applications” and should not lead to a major escalation in costs [3]. In a passage referred to – with implied approval – by the Court of Appeal (Minister of Finance v IPIC [2019] EWCA Civ 2080 at [41]), the Judge held that, in the general run, these hearings should be:

  • No more than 30 minutes.
  • Listed before the Judge who dismissed the application on paper.
  • Preceded only by written submissions from the applicant which explain succinctly what was wrong with the Judge’s reasons for the dismissal.
  • Attended only by the applicant.

Further, applications for leave to appeal to the Court of Appeal in s69 applications should be dealt with on paper by the judge who refused the application [40].

Comment

Arbitration applications are frequently mere attempts by the losing party to put off the day of reckoning. As Sir Jeremy Cooke, at §41 of Asset Management v Qatar National Bank [2018] EWHC 2218, pointed out, oral hearings ensure that a party’s position can be advanced and tested in a manner not always so readily achieved on paper. However, the requirement to determine challenges to awards promptly and economically means that limits should be placed on them. These robust new approaches are eminently sensible steps to keep the golden goose of London arbitration alive and in good feather.

Relevant members
Susannah Jones
Share