DB v DLJ [2016] EWHC324

Posted on
This case demonstrates how arbitration, which should be the end of the case, can sometimes be challenged in High Court.

Facts

Our family law team advised Ms DLJ on a long standing disagreement over finances during her divorce. Shortly after the Award was made, she discovered that the property that was awarded to her during arbitration,  was worth much less than was thought by the arbitrator.  Unfortunately, her husband invoked the Arbitration Act 1996 and said that save for a correction, challenge or Appeal the Form ARB1, which was signed by the parties to start the arbitration, did not allow the Family Division to set aside the arbitral award. Our client was unhappy with this position and Blake Morgan's Family team in Oxford worked with her to put a case forward to challenge this in the High Court.

Judgement

Whilst  the High Court was not convinced that our client's property had, inter alia, gone down sufficiently in value for it to set aside the arbitral award, she did manage to establish that the Court is, in appropriate circumstances, able to refuse to incorporate the arbitral Award if evidence emerges of mistake or supervening event.

This case is important because it further develops the area of arbitration in the family justice arena and clarifies when the Court will set aside an arbitral award.  It is also a continuation of the determination of what is rightly in the private sphere and what is a concern of the public sphere such as the Family Court.  Arbitration is promoted, along with all other forms of Dispute Resolution, by the Blake Morgan Dispute Resolution Practice Group – a specialist team of lawyers, mediators and early neutral evaluation professionals.