The English Commercial Court has confirmed that matters of fact and the evaluation of evidence are for the arbitrators in arbitration proceedings and it is precisely such situations where the court ought not to intervene.

In Primera Maritime (Hellas) Ltd v Jiangsu Eastern Heavy Industry Co Ltd, a case relating to two Kamsarmax bulk carriers, an application under section 68(2)(d) of the Arbitration Act 1996 was made to challenge an award for “serious irregularity” on the basis that the tribunal had failed to deal with issues put to it by the parties.

The court confirmed that an applicant should not subject each sentence of the tribunal’s reasoning to microscopic textual analysis in order to show that the tribunal has failed to deal with an issue. The court confirmed that this was the wrong approach and an unsuccessful party should not nit-pick.

The court held that the tribunal’s reasons were perfectly reasonable and explicable and, in any event, even if they were not and the tribunal’s conclusion could be said to be surprising, unusual or even wrong, it was a conclusion of fact that is not susceptible to review by the court.

For the full case report see: