China Agribusiness Development Corporation v Balli Trading: 1998

The plaintiff sought to enforce a Chinese award following an arbitration in which the arbitration rules current at the time when the dispute arose rather than the old rules current at the time of agreement had been applied.
Held: The court enforced a foreign award although a defence within the Arbitration Act 1975 and the New York Convention had been established. The objection point had only been raised at the time of enforcement, and any relevant change in the rules (in their fee structure) was insufficient to prejudice the defendant.
Longmore J said: ‘It is clear from the terms of the statute that refusal to enforce a Convention award is a matter for the discretion of the Court. In that context it must be relevant to assess the degree of prejudice to Balli by the arbitration being conducted under the current, rather than the provisional, rules. Mr Justice Kaplan so decided in the Chen Jen case and I gratefully follow his lead. (See [1992] I H.K. Cases 328 at p. 336.) . . A party who, only at the door of the enforcing Court, dreams up a reason for suggesting that a convention award should not be enforced is unlikely to have the Court’s sympathy in his favour, and for this reason also I would not on the facts of this case be prepared to refuse the enforcement of the award.’
Longmore J
[1998] 2 Lloyd’s Rep 76
Arbitration Act 1975
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedDallah Estates and Tourism Holding Company v Ministry of Religious Affairs, Government Of Pakistan CA 20-Jul-2009
The claimant sought to enforce an international arbitration award against the defendant in respect of the provision of accommodation for Hajj pilgrims. A without notice order had been made to allow its enforcement, but that had been set aside.
Updated: 23 April 2021; Ref: scu.373983