Tonicstar Ltd & ors v Allianz Insurance Plc & Anor, Court of Appeal - Commercial Court, November 06, 2017, [2017] EWHC 2753 (Comm)

Issuing Organization:Commercial Court
Actores:Tonicstar Ltd & ors v Allianz Insurance Plc & Anor
Resolution Date:November 06, 2017
 
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Neutral Citation Number: [2017] EWHC 2753 (Comm)

Case No: CL-2017-000452

IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE

BUSINESS AND PROPERTY COURTS OF ENGLAND AND WALES

QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION

COMMERCIAL COURT

IN THE MATTER OF THE ARBITRATION ACT 1996

AND IN THE MATTER OF AN ARBITRATION

Royal Courts of Justice

Rolls Building, 7 Rolls Buildings

Fetter Lane, London EC4A 1NL

Date: 06/11/2017

Before :

MR. JUSTICE TEARE

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Between :

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Andrew Burns QC (instructed by DLA Piper LLP) for the Claimant

Stephen Hofmeyr QC (instructed by Weightmans LLP) for the Respondents

Hearing date: 27 October 2017

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Mr. Justice Teare :

  1. This application arises in the context of a reinsurance dispute which the parties have agreed should be resolved by arbitration. The dispute concerns the reinsurance by the Respondents of risks underwritten by the Claimant with regard to the liabilities of the Port of New York. As a result of the attack on the World Trade Centre in New York in September 2001 the Port of New York incurred considerable liabilities which were settled in May 2011 in the sum of around $47.5m. That gave rise to the Claimant's claim against the Respondents. In April 2017 arbitration was commenced.

  2. The Contract of Reinsurance dated 12 February 2001 incorporated the ``Joint Excess Loss Committee, Excess Loss Clauses'' which were drafted by the said committee under the instructions of The Institute of London Underwriters and were published in January 1997. Clause 15 is entitled Arbitration and provided for each party to appoint an arbitrator. The respondent was to appoint an arbitrator within 30 days of receiving notice of the appointment of the claimant's arbitrator. In the event that the respondent failed to appoint an arbitrator, the claimant could apply to the Chairman of the Lloyd's Underwriters' Association and to the Chairman of the International Underwriting Association of London to nominate an arbitrator on behalf of the respondent. Clause 15.5 provided as follows:

    ``Unless the parties otherwise agree the arbitration tribunal shall consist of persons with not less than ten years' experience of insurance or reinsurance.''

  3. The Respondents have appointed Mr. Alistair Schaff QC as their arbitrator. The Respondents' solicitor has said that Mr. Schaff has considerably more than ten years' experience of insurance or reinsurance. The Claimant accepts that Mr. Schaff has considerably more than ten years' experience of insurance or reinsurance law but says that he does not have more than ten years' ``experience of insurance or reinsurance'' within the meaning of the arbitration clause. What is required, submitted Mr. Burns QC, is experience in the business of insurance or reinsurance itself. The Claimant therefore seeks...

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