In this webinar, we look at the background to the Supreme Court judgment in Halliburton v Chubb1. Ruth Keating provides a summary of the case. Fellow members of 39 Essex Chambers then look at some of the implications and issues arising from the decision.
The case examines the consideration of an arbitrator’s duty to disclose involvement in possible overlapping arbitrations. While the court accepted that the arbitrator was in breach of his duty to disclose, he should not be removed from the arbitration.
Ruth Keating notes that the Supreme Court assessed breach of the duty to disclose at the time of appointment but the question of removal at the time that an application to remove came to Court. The Supreme Court was therefore looking through objective eyes, rather than the eyes of the parties.
Ruth also observes that the court identifies clear tensions between a duty of disclosure and a duty of confidentiality.
The court refers to four things which led to the court not removing the arbitrator, which were:
- A lack of clarity in English law at the time of whether the duty of disclosure existed or was necessary
- The timing sequences were important in terms of appointment references.
- There was no overlap between the references.
- There was no question of the arbitrator having received any secret financial benefit.
1 Halliburton Company v Chubb Bermuda Insurance Ltd (formerly known as Ace Bermuda Insurance Ltd)  UKSC 48.