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No arbitration agreement concluded concerning construction works

By: Mark Tottenham BL, on August 28th, 2013

Barnmore Demolition and Civil Engineering Ltd v. Alandale Logistics Ltd [2010] IEHC 544 (High Court, Feeney J, 11 November 2010)

High Court refuses to refer construction claim to arbitration, on the grounds that there was no prima facie evidence that an arbitration agreement had been concluded between the parties.

Application to refer claim to arbitration - Article 8(1) of the Model Law - s. 6 of the Arbitration Act 2010 - stay of claim - whether arbitration agreement in place between parties - competence of arbitral tribunal to rule on its own jurisdiction - failure to identify that arbitration agreement was in place - unexecuted draft contract - never agreed - agreement in principle only - no separate agreement that works carried out by plaintiff were subject to arbitration - whether e-mail exchange gave rise to concluded agreement - whether prima facie case that action was the subject of an arbitration agreement.
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Key Cases Cited

Lesotho Highlands Development Authority v. Impregilo SpA and Others [2005] UKHL 43
Harbour Assurance Co. (UK) Ltd. v. Kansa General International Insurance Co. Ltd. [1993] QB 701
Birse Construction Ltd. v. St. David Ltd. [1999] BLR 194, [2000] BLR 57 (C.A.)
Al Naimi (t/a Buildmaster Construction Services) v. Islamic Press Agency Inc [1999] CLC 212, [2000] CLC 647 (C.A.)
McCrory Scaffolding v. McInerney Construction Ltd. [2004] 3 I.R. 592
Lynch Roofing Systems Ltd. v. Bennett & Son Ltd. [1999] 2 I.R. 450
O’Donovan v. The Southern Health Board [2001] 3 I.R. 385
O’Toole v. Heavey [1993] 2 I.R. 544