Can the existence of an arbitration clause trump a statutory demand? A court will not set aside a statutory demand for payment under an agreement merely because of the existence of an arbitration clause in that agreement. A contractual arbitration clause is only relevant if the party seeking to set aside the statutory demand can establish that there is a genuine dispute which is properly the subject of that arbitration clause; including a dispute about the existence or amount of the debt the subject of the statutory demand. Only if a genuine dispute is established will the arbitration clause have any work to do: Palmer Petroleum Pty Ltd v BGP Geoexplorer Pte. Ltd [2016] QSC 33

Whether arbitration amounts to privatization of the Justice System – See the following article in the New York Times in November 2015

The legal regime governing the stay of legal proceedings relating to disputes the subject of an arbitration agreement under the 2012 Act: Pipeline Services WA Pty Ltd v Atco Gas Australia Pty Ltd [2014] WASC 10 esp at [31]-[32]

Whether costs should be awarded on indemnity basis for proceedings brought in breach of an arbitration agreement — Whether principle in A v B should be applied in Western Australia: Pipeline Services WA Pty Ltd v Atco Gas Australia Pty Ltd [2014] WASC 10 (S)

Whether a stay (rather than dismissal) can be ordered notwithstanding the provisions of s.8(1) of the Commercial Arbitration Act 2012. “Yes” in NSW. See John Holland Pty Limited v Kellogg Brown and Root Pty Ltd (No 2) [2015] NSWSC 564. At [11], Hammerschlag J said as follows: “The grant of a stay is not inconsistent with a referral to arbitration under s 8(1) of the Act. Power to grant a stay is given by s 67 of the Civil Procedure Act 2005 (NSW) (“CPA“) which provides that subject to rules of court, the court may at any time and from time to time, by order, stay any proceedings before it, either permanently or until a specified day. Additionally, the court has an inherent power to stay proceedings which are an abuse of process.”

Whether indemnity costs should be awarded where in breach of contract a party institutes proceedings rather than proceeding by arbitration: Sino Dragon Trading Ltd v Noble Resources International Pte Ltd (No 2) FCA 1046 (Edelman J)

Subpoenas in arbitration: the differing roles of the arbitral tribunal and the court: Esposito Holdings Ltd v UDP Holdings Pty Ltd [2015] VSC 183

Oppression — Arbitration clause — Interrelationship between Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) and Commercial Arbitration Act 2011: Brazis v Rosati [2014] VSCA 264

Third Party proceedings in International Arbitrations: Flint Ink NZ Ltd v Huhtamaki Aust Pty Ltd L [2014] VSCA 166

Difference between valuer and arbitrator: Arenson v Arenson 1977 AC 405

Whether contract void ab initio – arbitrator may determine – jurisdiction survives avoidance: Ferris v Plaister [1994] 34 NSWLR 474

Commercial arbitration – applicant sought to prohibit respondent from disclosing confidential information concerning arbitral proceeding under s27H Commercial Arbitration Act 2013(Qld) – whether public interest in preserving confidentiality not outweighed by considerations rendering it in public interest to disclose it – whether disclosure more than reasonable for purpose – ‘private and public reasons for judgment’ – public interest in regulation of industries under valid legislation – Court agreed with arbitrator’s reasons for decision that disclosure of alleged confidential information should be allowed – application dismissed: Wilmar Sugar P/L v Burdekin District Cane Growers Ltd [2017] QSC 3
Costs – arbitration – jurisdiction – claimant in present proceedings (Siam) was claimant in arbitral proceedings against respondent in present proceedings (Compass) – proceedings settled – arbitrator dismissed proceedings and ordered Compass to pay Siam’s costs – Siam sought assessment of costs order made against Compass without reference to limits in respect of items in Legal Profession (Supreme Court) (Contentious Business) Determination 2014 (WA) and Legal Profession (Supreme Court) (Contentious Business) Determination 2016 (WA) – whether court had jurisdiction to make orders – held: no sources of jurisdiction which Siam identified gave Court jurisdiction to make orders it sought – Court invited further submissions and evidence – possible application of s 280 of the LPA: Siam Steel International PLC v Compass Group (Australia) Pty Ltd [2017] WASC 137
Commercial arbitration – defendant sought order under s8(1) Commercial Arbitration Act 2010 (NSW) (the Act) for referral of action which plaintiff commenced against it for breach of two Reference Service Agreements – whether Reference Service Agreements were arbitration agreements under s7(1) – whether agreements made ‘binding provision for compulsory arbitration’ – held: there was no arbitration agreement – motion dismissed: AGL Energy Limited v Jemena Gas Networks (NSW) Ltd [2017] NSWSC 765

Commercial arbitration – contract – grain growers commenced proceedings against defendant concerning separate contracts between each grower and defendant – contracts concerned placement of grain which growers produced into pool of grain which defendant sold to purchasers – contracts contained provision requiring that disputes which arose from, related to, or were in connection with contract’s terms to be resolved by arbitration – defendant sought referral of disputes to arbitration under s8 Commercial Arbitration Act 2012 (WA) and stay of proceedings – construction of arbitration agreements – whether proceedings involved a ‘matter’ subject of arbitration agreements – whether matter or matters within arbitration agreement’s scope – doctrine of non-arbitrability – held: defendant established s8 applied to proceedings – parties referred to arbitration – proceedings stayed: Fitzpatrick v Emerald Grain Pty Ltd [2017] WASC 206 Martin CJ

Commercial arbitration – first defendant, pursuant to s8 Commercial Arbitration Act 2012(WA), sought to refer dispute with plaintiff to arbitration and stay of proceedings – third defendant sought interpleader relief under ) O17 r1 Rules of the Supreme Court 1971 (WA) – construction of contract – whether claims within arbitration agreement’s scope – whether proceedings were ‘proceedings to enforce payment due under the Contract’ under clause and thus ‘carved out’ from arbitration agreement’s operation – held: matter referred to arbitration – stay granted in part – third defendant granted interpleader relief: GR Engineering Services Ltd – v – Eastern Goldfields Ltd [2018] WASC 19