Admitted mistake and remission under s.68(2)(i)

8 December, 2020

On 4 December 2020, the Commercial Court (Sir Ross Cranston) handed down judgment in the case of  Doglemor Trade Ltd & Others v Caledor Consulting Ltd & Another which appears to be the first case directly addressing the issue of an admitted mistake in preparing an award.

The tribunal had added a substantial sum instead of deducting it, as was common ground that it should have done, which mistake substantially affected the sum awarded based on the other findings made by the tribunal.

After the mistake became apparent from the award, the tribunal had been asked to correct its award under Article 27.1 of the LCIA rules but declined to do so, although at the same time admitting its mistake. The Court decided that the award should be remitted to the tribunal for reconsideration but only on those parts of the award that were affected by the admitted mistake.

In so deciding, the Court held that (a) the tribunal’s response to the application to correct the mistake was admissible as evidence of the mistake for the purpose of s.68(2)(i) but (b) it did not form part of the award or the reasons for it, had no binding status and could not be used to contradict the award. The Court followed the dictum of Lord Sumption in a Privy Council decision, Sans Souci Ltd v VRL Services Ltd [2012] UKPC 6, as to the binding nature of the award on aspects not affected by the mistake and hence the limits to be placed upon the scope of remission: “the reopening by the arbitrators of findings which there were no grounds for remitting and which they had already conclusively decided would therefore have been contrary to the scheme of the Arbitration Act”.

Graham Dunning QC and Paul Stanley QC acted for the successful applicant, instructed by Jeremy Garson of Herbert Smith Freehills LLP.

A full copy of the reserved judgment is to be found here.