DHL Project & Chartering Ltd (claimant/respondent) v Gemini Ocean Shipping Co Ltd (defendant/appellant)
Tuesday 1 November 2022
By Appellant’s Notice filed on 21st February, the Defendant/Appellant appeals, with permission, the Order of Mr Justice Richard Jacobs dated 7th February 2022 in which he set aside the final arbitration award dated 15th January 2021 under s67 of the Arbitration Act 1996; made Orders as to costs.
There were two applications before Jacobs J, one under s.67 of the 1996 Act to set aside the award of the arbitrator (Mr Fitzpatrick) dated 15th January 2021 (‘the Award’) and the other for leave to appeal against the Award under s.69 of the same Act. In his Award, Mr Fitzpatrick held Claimant (‘the Charterers’) liable in damages for repudiation of a charter fixture (‘the Charter’ or ‘the Matrix Contract’). Jacobs J allowed the application under s.67 and further granted leave to appeal under s.69.
The issue before Jacobs J was whether Mr Fitzpatrick did have jurisdiction because the Charter, in relation to which the parties had expressly agreed to arbitrate their disputes, had a ‘subject’. The Charterers argued he did not. Jacobs J agreed.
The discrete and only question on this appeal is therefore whether Jacobs J was right in law to hold that the parties’ agreement to refer disputes to arbitration was not a binding arbitration agreement as a matter of law.