The Admiralty & Commercial Courts Guide
The Admiralty & Commercial Courts Guide
O.1 Arbitration claims
(a) Applications to the court under the Arbitration Acts 1950 – 1996 and other applications relating to arbitrations are known as “arbitration claims”.
(b) The procedure applicable to arbitration claims is to be found in Part 62 and its associated practice direction. Separate provision is made
(i) by Section I for claims relating to arbitrations to which the Arbitration Act 1996 applies;
(ii) by Section II for claims relating to arbitrations to which the Arbitration Acts 1950 – 1979 (“the old law”) apply; and
(ii) by Section III for enforcement proceedings.
(c) For a full definition of the expression “arbitration claim” see rule 62.2(1) (claims under the 1996 Act) and rule 62.11(2) (claims under the old law).
(d) Part 58 applies to arbitration claims in the Commercial Court insofar as no specific provision is made by Part 62: rule 62.1(3).
Claims under the Arbitration Act 1996
O.2 Starting an arbitration claim
O2.1 Subject to section O2.3 an arbitration claim must be started by the issue of an arbitration claim form in accordance with the Part 8 procedure: rule 62.3(1).
O2.2 The claim form must be substantially in the form set out in Appendix A to practice direction 62: PD62 § 2.2.
O2.3 An application to stay proceedings under section 9 of the Arbitration Act 1996 must be made by application notice in the proceedings: rule 62.3(2).
O2.4 Where a question arises as to whether an arbitration agreement is null and void, inoperative or incapable of being performed the court may deal with it in the same way as provided by rule 62.8(3) which applies where a question arises as to whether an arbitration agreement has been concluded or the dispute which is the subject matter of the proceedings falls within the terms of such an agreement.
O.3 The arbitration claim form
O3.1 The arbitration claim form must contain, among other things, a concise statement of the remedy claimed and, if an award is challenged, the grounds for that challenge: rule 62.4(1).
O3.2 Reference in the arbitration claim form to a witness statement or affidavit filed in support of the claim is not sufficient to comply with the requirements of rule 62.4(1).
O.4 Service of the arbitration claim form
O4.1 An arbitration claim form issued in the Admiralty & Commercial Registry must be served by the claimant.
(a) The rules governing service of the claim form are set out in Part 6 of the Civil Procedure Rules.
(b) Unless the court orders otherwise an arbitration claim form must be served on the defendant within 1 month from the date of issue: rule 62.4(2).
(a) An arbitration claim form may be served out of the jurisdiction with the permission of the court: rule 62.5(1).
(b) Rules 6.40– 6.46 apply to the service of an arbitration claim form out of the jurisdiction: rule 62.5(3).
O4.4 The court may exercise its powers under rules 6.15 and/or 6.37(5)(b) to permit service of an arbitration claim form on a party at the address of the solicitor or other representative acting for him in the arbitration: PD62 § 3.1.
O4.5 The claimant must file a certificate of service within 7 days of serving the arbitration claim form: PD62 § 3.2.
O.5 Acknowledgment of service
(a) A defendant must file an acknowledgment of service of the arbitration claim form in every case: rule 58.6(1).
(b) An adapted version of practice form N210 (acknowledgment of service of a Part 8 claim form) has been approved for use in the Commercial Court.
O5.2 The time for filing an acknowledgment of service is calculated from the service of the arbitration claim form.
O.6 Standard directions
O6.1 The directions set out in PD62 § 6.2–6.7 apply unless the court orders otherwise.
O6.2 The claimant should apply for a hearing date as soon as possible after issuing an arbitration claim form or (in the case of an appeal) obtaining permission to appeal.
O6.3 A defendant who wishes to rely on evidence in opposition to the claim must file and serve his evidence within 21 days after the date by which he was required to acknowledge service: PD62 § 6.2.
O6.4 A claimant who wishes to rely on evidence in response to evidence served by the defendant must file and serve his evidence within 7 days after the service of the defendant’s evidence: PD62 § 6.3.
O6.5 An application for directions in a pending arbitration claim should be made by application notice under Part 23. Where an arbitration application involves recognition and/or enforcement of an agreement to arbitrate and that application is challenged on the grounds that the parties to the application were not bound by an agreement to arbitrate, it will usually be necessary for the court to resolve that issue in order to determine the
application. For this purpose it may be necessary for there to be disclosure of documents and/or factual and/or expert evidence. In that event, it is the responsibility of those advising the applicant to liaise with the other party and to arrange with the Listing Office for a case management conference to be listed as early as possible to enable the court to give directions as to the steps to be taken before the hearing of the application.
O6.6 PD62 paragraphs 6.6 and 6.7 provide for the Claimant’s skeleton to be served not later than 2 days before the hearing date and the Respondent’s skeleton to be served not later than the day before the hearing date. However:
(a) In relation to hearings of appeals in which permission to appeal has been granted, see paragraph O8.2 below and in relation to applications under section 68 see paragraph O8.8A below;
(b) Where an application (other than one mentioned in (a) above) is likely to last more than half a day the Respondent’s skeleton should be served one clear day before the hearing date, consistently with the Commercial Court practice for heavy applications.
O.7 Interim remedies
O7.1 An application for an interim remedy under section 44 of the Arbitration Act 1996 must be made in an arbitration claim form: PD62 § 8.1.
O.8 Challenging the award
Challenge by way of appeal
O8.1 The procedures applicable to applications for permission to appeal and bundles of documents for any substantive appeal have been revised with effect from 1 October 2010. All applications for permission to appeal should comply with paragraph 12 of the revised Arbitration Practice Direction which requires that:
(1) Where a party seeks permission to appeal to the court on a question of law arising out of an arbitration award, the arbitration claim form must, in addition to complying with rule 62.4(1)—
(i) identify the question of law;
(ii) state the grounds (but not the argument) on which the party challenges the award and contends that permission should be given;
(iii) be accompanied by a skeleton argument in support of the application in accordance with paragraph 12.2; and
(iv) append the award.
(2) Subject to paragraph (3), the skeleton argument—
(i) must be printed in 12 point font, with 1½ line spacing,
(ii) should not exceed 15 pages in length and
(iii) must contain an estimate of how long the court is likely to need to deal with the application on the papers.
If the skeleton argument exceeds 15 pages in length the author must write to the court explaining why that is necessary.
(4) Written evidence may be filed in support of the application only if it is necessary to show (insofar as that is not apparent from the award itself):
(i) that the determination of the question raised by the appeal will substantially affect the rights of one or more of the parties;
(ii) that the question is one which the tribunal was asked to determine;
(iii) that the question is one of general public importance;
(iv) that it is just and proper in all the circumstances for the court to determine the question raised by the appeal.
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