Arbitrations seated in England are subject to the provisions of the Arbitration Act 1996 (“AA 1996”). Other than those provisions which are mandatorily applicable under the AA 1996, parties can agree on the rules that are to govern the proceedings and so, when the parties submit a dispute to LMAA arbitration, the LMAA Rules 2021 (“LMAA Rules”) will supplement or replace the provisions of the AA 1996.
Party autonomy is a core principle of the AA 1996 and the courts’ involvement in arbitration proceedings should be limited. However, the courts do retain some powers under the AA 1996 and the Senior Courts Act 1981 (“SCA 1981”), which are intended to support arbitration proceedings.
In this three-part series on the courts’ supportive powers in LMAA arbitrations, we will discuss the courts’ powers in respect of anti-suit injunctions, preserving evidence and enforcing Tribunals’ orders and awards.
Our first article considers the courts’ powers to grant anti-suit injunctions when proceedings have been commenced outside of England in breach of an arbitration agreement providing for arbitration in London.
In support of maritime arbitrations (Part 1): anti-suit injunctions
Whilst a LMAA tribunal has the authority to decide all procedural matters under Rule 15 of the LMAA Rules and section 34 of the AA 1996, it will often be impracticable to apply to the tribunal for a direction requiring a dispute to be referred to arbitration, as a tribunal will first need to be constituted and the other party notified in advance of the application. Further, the tribunal has limited powers to enforce such a direction.