Category: ADR

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Court Dismisses Force Majeure & Trade Sanctions Control Defences

The High Court, in its decision on Litasco SA v Der Mond Oil and Gas Africa SA & Anor [2023] EWHC 2866 (Comm), clarified the application of force majeure and the “ownership and control” test under UK sanctions law. It emphasized that significant difficulty, nearly impossible to overcome, is necessary to invoke force majeure for debt obligations. The ruling further established stringent criteria for proving “control” in relation to sanctioned entities, highlighting the necessity for actual influence over business decisions, rather than theoretical possibilities, to satisfy this condition. This decision provides a clearer framework for businesses handling contracts under these terms.

Arbitration Claim Application in the Courts of United Kingdom

Arbitration Claim Application in the Courts of United Kingdom

A claim or an application made to the English court with the subject being or the outcome affecting an existing or proposed agreement to arbitrate or to challenge its award, is termed as an ‘application for arbitration’ or an ‘arbitration claim’. The Civil Procedure Rules which statutorily govern the rules and procedures to be adopted by the English Courts in all civil cases brought before it, in Part 62.2 define an ‘arbitration claim’ as an application or a claim before the English courts which seeks determination of the validity of; an arbitration agreement, the jurisdiction of arbitration tribunal, or the matters submitted before such tribunal during the course of arbitration proceedings or any matter related thereto.

Unexplained wealth order

High Court issues costs penalty for failure to resolve issues with ADR

This latest High Court case again demonstrates the pitfalls for litigants who unreasonably refuse to engage in Alternative Dispute Resolution such as mediation to resolve issues. Parties that fail to do so risk be punished by the court when it comes to costs.

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LCIA launches new Arbitration and Mediation Rules

The London Court of International Arbitration have recently updated their guidance for Arbiters to account for remote Arbitrations. The changes to their rules will come into effect on 1 October 2020 and will only effect arbitrations that commence after this date.

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Alternative Dispute Resolution: Mediation v Arbitration

Mediation and arbitration are alternatives to litigation. Mediation is “without prejudice” commercial negotiation to settle a dispute. Arbitration is a private court hearing where parties agree to be bound by the decision of the arbitrator. Both forms of ADR have their pros and cons, and the most effective method depends on the parties themselves and the nature of the dispute.

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Claimant’s Part 36 offer of 99.7% was genuine offer to settle proceedings

In a multi million pound breach of contract case, where there was no substantive defence to the claim and the Defendant accepted summary judgment and liability for the Claimant’s costs, the High Court held that a Claimant’s Part 36 offer to accept only 0.3% less than the full sum being claimed was a “genuine offer to settle” under CPR 36.17(5)(e).

Unexplained wealth order

High Court: Costs penalties for a failure to engage in mediation

If a party completely foregoes mediation will that party be punished in costs? The High Court judgment highlights that although the court cannot compel parties to mediate, an unreasonable refusal to do so is likely to result in costs penalties for a defaulting party. The costs risks of unreasonably refusing to mediate or not responding to a mediation proposal may be severe.

failure to mediate costs

The Cost of an Unreasonable Refusal to Mediate

All solicitors have a duty to advise their clients about alternative dispute resolution (ADR), including mediation. Along with the ADR requirements in the pre-action protocols, the CPR and court schemes, overall, mediation is an option that must be considered by parties both before and during litigation (and a failure to do so can lead to costs penalties).