31st October 2019


Nick Vineall QC and Andrew Stevens of 4 Pump Court are acting for the London Maritime Arbitrators Association (the LMAA) in its intervention before the Supreme Court in the appeal from the Court of Appeal’s decision in Halliburton Company v Chubb Bermuda Insurance Ltd [2018] EWCA Civ 817.

The Supreme Court case is of major interest to the international arbitration community in London and around the world. Other intervening parties include the ICC, the LCIA, GAFTA and CIArb.

The case arises out of the tragic events of the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico which began in April 2010. The appeal is focussed on issues of impartiality, multiple/overlapping appointments and disclosure by arbitrators.

The Appellant in the Supreme Court, Halliburton, settled claims relating to the disaster for a total of US$1.128 billion and made a claim under a policy with Chubb. Chubb won a subsequent arbitration arguing that the settlement reached was not reasonable and that it was reasonable for Chubb not to approve the settlement. Halliburton applied under s.24 of the Arbitration Act 1996 to remove one of the arbitrators, ‘M’, due to a failure to disclose both a subsequent appoint by Chubb in another Deepwater Horizon arbitration and an appointment by Transocean in a further Deepwater Horizon arbitration not involving Chubb or Halliburton. The application failed before Popplewell J and again before the Court of Appeal.

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