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Dispute concerning payment to contractor was subject to arbitration clause

By: Mark Tottenham BL

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High Court grants order referring construction dispute to arbitration, notwithstanding a claim by the contractor that the employer had agreed to pay the disputed sum, on the grounds that: (a) an arbitration clause should be interpreted in broad terms such that the dispute could be said to 'arise under' the relevant agreement; (b) the contractor had failed to establish any representation by the employer such that the employer was 'estopped' from relying on the arbitration agreement; and (c) the claim by the contractor that the dispute arose from a subsequent agreement to pay the disputed sum was a variant of the claim that it had not arisen 'under' the original agreement.

Application for order referring proceedings to arbitration - Article 8(1) of the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration - arbitration agreement - application for a stay to enable conciliation - public works contract (PWC) - construction works at school - alleged debt of €206K - whether dispute arose under PWC or under a separate agreement - account stated and settled - agreement on behalf of defendant that outstanding sums would be paid - issue of summary summons - alleged defects in construction - claim for set-off - whether alleged final account was binding where individual did not have authority to make agreement - failure to provide certificate - Section 6 of the Arbitration Act 2010 - application of UN Model Law to domestic arbitrations - principles of interpretation of arbitration agreements - alleged estoppel - whether arbitration agreement had been superseded by alleged agreement reached at a meeting.

Note: This is intended to be a fair and accurate report of a decision made public by a court of law. Any errors should be notified to the editor and will be dealt with accordingly.

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