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The Commercial Court (Teare J) has given judgment dismissing arbitration claims seeking to challenge an LCIA Award that ordered payment of sums in excess of US$72 million in respect of claims arising from misappropriation of assets in connection with a foreign real estate project.

In A v B, the Award was challenged by the Claimant in the arbitration claim, A, on jurisdictional grounds pursuant to s. 67 of the Arbitration Act 1996. The grounds of challenge were that: (i) A had not signed the agreement containing the clause based upon which the Tribunal had found jurisdiction; and (ii) that such clause could not be construed as an arbitration clause conferring jurisdiction in any event. Each ground was resisted by the Defendant to the arbitration claim, B. The arbitration claim was dismissed following a 4 day trial at which oral evidence was heard from a number of factual witnesses and handwriting experts.

In K v S, the Award was challenged by the Claimant in the arbitration claim, K, on jurisdictional grounds and as involving serious irregularity pursuant to ss. 67 and 68 of the 1996 Act. The arbitration claim was struck out on the application of the Defendant in the arbitration claim, S, as having been brought outside the statutory time limit pursuant to s. 70(3) of the Act, there being no sufficient grounds for extending time. The judgment provides important guidance on the application of the statutory time and discretion to extend time in cases where non-material corrections to an arbitral award are sought.

Alan Maclean QC and Andrew Scott (instructed by Baker & McKenzie LLP) acted for the successful Defendant in each arbitration claim, including at an earlier stage of the proceedings dealing with interim relief, reported as Y v S [2015] 1 Lloyd's Rep 703. 

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