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ARBITRATION: Loose moorings

28 September 2012  

Ben Holland outlines the final chapter of the West Tankers case

Where parties have agreed that disputes should be arbitrated in London, and one party subsequently breaches this agreement, commencing court action in another EU member state, what should the cost consequences be? This was the question decided by the Commercial Court in West Tankers Inc v Allianz SpA [2012]. The case was an appeal on a point of law to the courts of the seat of arbitration under s69 the Arbitration Act 1996. The arbitrators had decided that they had no ability to award damages for costs against the party which had brought the court proceedings in breach of the arbitration agreement. The Commercial Court disagreed. In doing so, it reinforced English law’s respect for the principles of party autonomy and also its support for international arbitration.

Additional Info

  • Case(s) Referenced:

    West Tankers Inc v Allianz SpA & anor [2012] EWHC 854 (Comm)