UK The Supreme Court handed down its judgment in Halliburton v. Chubb in November 2020. The case addressed the test for apparent bias and the issue of arbitrators’ duties of disclosure in English-seated arbitrations. The authors of this article represented the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) as interveners in the Supreme Court appeal.
This article explores the key points arising out of the judgment and takes stock of the current position under English law. The authors discuss certain issues that remain open following the judgment, including the relationship between the duties of disclosure and confidentiality. They explore the extent to which parties’ adoption of institutional rules can modify the English law position, and comment on the extent to which English law is now in line with that of other jurisdictions.
The article notes that Halliburton v. Chubb is one of a number of recent cases globally concerning the scope of arbitrators’ duties. It concludes that while the decision of the Supreme Court provides a welcome degree of clarity as to the English law position, and a necessary confirmation that the English courts take a robust approach to such issues, the judgment itself was necessarily confined to relatively narrow facts. As such, questions relating to arbitrators’ duties are likely to return to the spotlight in future cases, and English law is likely to continue to develop as the relevant principles are applied to different fact patterns and as new norms emerge amongst arbitrators.Journal of International Arbitration