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HFW wins $70M arbitration appeal in English High Court March 2018

5 March 2018

HFW has successfully had a $70 million London arbitration award against one of its clients set aside following an appeal to the English High Court.

A London arbitral tribunal had previously awarded substantial damages to ship owner Loki Owning Company Ltd, which alleged that HFW’s client, Chinese steel company Jiangsu Shagang Group Co Ltd, had guaranteed the performance of a time charter contract.

HFW appealed to the English High Court under section 67 of the English Arbitration Act 1996, which allows parties to challenge an arbitral award on substantive jurisdiction.

The High Court judge found that the Tribunal lacked jurisdiction and set aside the award.

Commenting on the win, HFW disputes partner Trevor Fox said: “It is rare to successfully set aside a London arbitration award, but this is a case where it was appropriate. In its approach and in issuing this decision, the High Court has shown its ability and willingness to provide sophisticated support to international arbitration. We are very pleased to have been able to help our client obtain this result.”

Appeals on substantive jurisdiction are treated by the Court as a complete rehearing. On receiving documentary and oral evidence that was not before the Tribunal, the Court went on to make findings of fact and witness assessments that were markedly different from those reached by the Tribunal, including that it found Jiangsu Shagang’s witnesses to be highly credible.

The full High Court judgment can be seen here:

The HFW team was led by Fox and shipping partner Julian Davies, who are both based in the firm’s Shanghai office.

HFW has one of the largest and most active disputes practices in the market, covering litigation – including commercial litigation – international arbitration and alternative forms of dispute resolution. The firm has specialist disputes teams in each of its 18 offices worldwide, and regularly handles high-value, complex, multi-party and multi-jurisdictional disputes. The firm’s expertise spans a wide range of sectors and industries, including aviation, commodities, construction, energy, insurance and shipping.

A recent report by UK trade publication The Lawyer revealed that HFW spent 70 days litigating in the UK Commercial Court in 2016 and 2017 – more than any other law firm. The Lawyer also recently ranked HFW as the fifth most active litigation firm among FTSE 100 clients.


HFW is a leading global law firm in the aerospace, commodities, construction, energy, insurance and shipping sectors. The firm has almost 600 fee-earners, including 180 partners, based in 18 offices across the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Australia. We take a progressive approach to our roles in commercial business – thinking creatively and pragmatically to support our clients. HFW prides itself on its deep industry expertise and its entrepreneurial, creative and collaborative culture.

For further information, please contact:

Chris Johnson
Head of Communications
D  +44 (0)20 7264 8159
M  +44 (0)7976 939864

Press Contact
Chris Johnson
Head of Communications