Malekout v Medical Sickness Annuity and Life Assurance Society Limited: CA 21 May 1998

The plaintiff sought to appeal against a stay of his action so that it could be referred to arbitration. His claim was under insurance policies containing clauses providing for arbitration of disputes.
Held: The judge had failed to take account of the fact that the claimant was receiving income support as an indication of his lack of funds. Since a payment under the policies would have put him in funds, the fact of non-payment was connected to his present inability to fund an action, and nor was it correct to have dismissed the plaintiff’s need for assistance in an arbitration where technical legal and medical issues would arise.
[1998] EWCA Civ 872
England and Wales
CitedTrustee of Property of Andrews v Brock Buildings (Kessingland) Limited CA 21-Nov-1996
An impecunious plaintiff who resisted an application to stay proceedings in order to allow an arbitration can be required to show the cause of his inability to fund the action. . .
CitedFakes v Taylor Woodrow Construction Limited 1973
The plaintiff resisted an application for a stay of his action for an arbitration on the basis that his lack of funds would make it impossible to take part in an arbitration. . .
CitedConnelly v RTZ Corporation Plc and others HL 24-Jul-1997
The availability of legal aid to a party is not part of criteria for choosing jurisdiction save in exceptional circumstances.
Lord Goff discussed the Spiliada case: ‘the burden of proof rests on the defendant to persuade the court to exercise . .

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Updated: 05 May 2021; Ref: scu.144351