The decision will provide commercial parties arbitrating in China and other New York Convention signatory states with welcome reassurance that England is an arbitration-friendly jurisdiction, according to Richard Dickman of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law.com.
English courts are pre-disposed to enforce foreign arbitration awards under the New York Convention, which governs the ability to enforce international arbitration awards. However RBRG, which had applied to the English courts to have the $4.8 million damages award against it in this case set aside, had argued that the award had been tainted by fraud, and should be set aside on public policy grounds.
The award, issued by the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC) on 30 June 2014, concerned an alleged breach by RBRG of a contract for the sale of rolled steel coils. The deal broke down after it emerged that the seller, Sinocore, had forged the bills of lading required for the goods to be shipped. Both companies brought claims for breach of contract in CIETAC arbitration proceedings, and the tribunal ultimately found in favour of Sinocore.