S Ltd v C Ltd: ComC 27 Feb 2009

Defamation allegation not subject to arbitration

The parties had an agreement referring disputes between them to arbitration. One party raised an allegation of defamation, but the arbitrator refused jurisdiction. The parties had chosen the London Metal Exchange for its expertise in metals trading, not defamation.
Held: The choice of the LME did indicate the intention of the parties, but it was not determinative. However: ‘The simple question is whether there is the connection between the contracts and the matters said to give rise to the tort.’ and ‘it is unlikely that it the parties to the contract are to be taken to have intended that this sort of distinction should mean that claims of this sort relating to past conduct should go to the Tribunal but defamatory inferences of the sort said to have been made in the LME letter should go to another Tribunal. I am therefore persuaded, although it is nearer the line, that the arbitration agreements cover the claim of the defamation said to have been made in the LME letter.’

Andrew Smith J
[2009] EWHC B23 (Comm)
Arbitration Act 1996 67
England and Wales
CitedAstro Vencedor Compania Naviera SA v Mabanaft GmbH CA 1971
For an arbitration clause in a contract between parties to be used to enforce arbitration of a tortious claim, the tortious claim must arise out of the contractual matters. In this case damages were sought for the wrongful arrest of a ship in . .
CitedAggeliki Charis Compania Maritima SA v Pagnan SpA – The Angelic Grace CA 1995
On the charterers’ orders the Angelic Grace was required to tie up alongside another vessel which they owned. Whilst unloading the weather turned and the vessels collided. Each blamed the other and the owners claimed a salvage. The court considered . .
CitedPremium Nafta Products Ltd (20th Defendant) and others v Fili Shipping Company Ltd and others; Fiona Trust and Holding Corporation v Privalov HL 17-Oct-2007
The owners of a ship sought to rescind charters saying that they had been procured by bribery.
Held: A claim to rescind a contract by reason of bribery fell within the scope of an arbitration clause under which the parties had agreed to refer . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Arbitration, Defamation

Updated: 11 November 2021; Ref: scu.375623