December, 2020 - Supreme Court hands down key judgment on impartiality of arbitrators
- Date: 08/12/2020
Arbitrators in deep water? Supreme Court hands down key judgment on impartiality of arbitrators
The prospect of removing an arbitrator due to doubts over his or her impartiality will always present a challenge. The particular difficulties surrounding this issue have been under the spotlight since the long-running Halliburton v Chubb dispute reached the Supreme Court in November, 2019. On 27th November, 2020, the eagerly awaited decision of the Supreme Court was handed down.
In April 2010, an explosion tore through the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico. BP were lessees of the rig. Halliburton provided cementing and well-monitoring services to BP in relation to the temporary abandonment of the well. Following the explosion, a number of claims were brought against Halliburton, BP and the rig owners, Transocean. Halliburton settled some of those claims and in turn sought to recover its losses from its liability insurers, Chubb. Chubb declined to pay the claims, principally on the basis that the settlement was neither reasonable nor approved by Chubb.