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Removal of arbitrators: bias and disclosure

Arbitration Law Monthly

Removal of arbitrators: bias and disclosure

After a wait of just over a year, the Supreme Court has handed down its crucial decision in Halliburton Co v Chubb Bermuda Insurance Ltd [2020] UKSC 48. The narrow question was whether an arbitrator appointed for a Bermuda Form insurance arbitration was required to disclose that he had subsequently received two further appointments by one of the parties for arbitrations arising out of the same event.

The Supreme Court undertook a wide-ranging analysis of the concept of apparent bias but, more importantly, confirmed that there was to be implied into the fairness requirements of section 33 of the Arbitration Act 1996 a duty of disclosure in such circumstances. Lords Reed, Hodge and Lloyd-Jones, and Lady Black delivered a joint judgment, and a separate judgment amplifying issues in the joint judgment was written by Lady Arden.

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