London Maritime Arbitration
Appointment of arbitrators and umpires
It is important to ensure that an arbitrator is properly appointed, as failure to make a valid appointment, or an appointment which does not cover a relevant dispute, may have far-reaching consequences: an award made by an incorrectly appointed tribunal may be set aside as invalid and the defective appointment may be incurable if the time limit for commencing arbitration has expired.1 The first place to look in order to determine the correct steps for appointing an arbitrator is the arbitration clause. In many cases, however, the arbitration clause (or the rules which it incorporates) will provide no express assistance. In the absence of any other agreement it is necessary to rely on the statutory rules governing appointment. Under English law, the appointment of an arbitrator is based on consent; no special formalities are required and it is essentially a matter of obtaining the arbitrator’s agreement to act and then notifying the other side of that agreement.