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The law applicable to arbitration agreements: substantive contract or seat?

Arbitration Law Monthly

The law applicable to arbitration agreements: substantive contract or seat?

The Supreme Court has by a 3:2 majority (Lords Kerr, Hamblen and Leggatt, Lords Burrows and Sales dissenting) in Enka Insaat ve Sanayi AS v OOO “Insurance Company Chubb” [2020] UKSC 38 approved the decision, albeit not all of the reasoning, of the Court of Appeal on two matters crucial to the operation of the curial jurisdiction of the English court under the Arbitration Act 1996, namely: how is the law applicable to an arbitration clause to be determined; and in what circumstances will an English court exercise its power to grant an anti-suit injunction where the seat of the arbitration is in England?

The judgments in the Supreme Court contain masterly analysis of the issues relating to choice of law and constitute an entirely fresh principled approach to the relationship between the substantive contract, the arbitration clause and the seat in the modern context of international arbitration.

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