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Paal Wilson & Co. v. Partenreederei Hannah Blumenthal (The Hannah Blumenthal) - Court of Appeal (Lord Denning M.R., Griffiths and Kerr L.JJ.) - 26 March 1982

Lloyd's Maritime Law Newsletter

Paal Wilson & Co. v. Partenreederei Hannah Blumenthal (The Hannah Blumenthal) - Court of Appeal (Lord Denning M.R., Griffiths and Kerr L.JJ.) - 26 March 1982

Whether arbitration agreement can be frustrated by delay

A dispute arose under a Norwegian sale form contract dated 23 September 1969 involving the vessel Hannah Blumenthal . In 1972 both parties appointed their arbitrators. Under the arbitration clause a third arbitrator should have been appointed, but this was never done. Neither side made application for directions. In February 1974, the claimant buyers (Partenreederei) delivered their points of claim. The respondent sellers (Paal Wilson) delivered points of defence in June 1974. Apart from some occasional correspondence between solicitors no further steps were taken by the claimants. In August 1980 the respondents issued a writ seeking a declaration and injunction to stop any further proceedings in the arbitration. They stated that none of their witnesses would be available, for valid reasons, to give evidence.

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