Glencore Agriculture B.V. v Conqueror Holdings Limited  EWHC 2893
This recent decision highlights the importance of serving notices correctly in the context of arbitration, and also serves as a reminder for construction professionals giving notices within other dispute resolution processes.
The Claimant (“Glencore”) sought to have an arbitration award of around US$43,000,000 set aside. Glencore had no part in the arbitration, and remained unaware of the process until the award was received by post a month after the decision was made. The notice of arbitration (amongst other documents) was sent to an email address belonging to an employee of Glencore, who had left the company in September 2016. The issue at hand was whether the notices sent were validly served by being sent to that employee’s email address.
The Defendant (“Conqueror”) had many other ways of finding a relevant email address to serve the notices on, and in any event had the ability to validly serve the notices by sending them by post to Glencore’s registered office address. In addition, Popplewell J also held that the employee held no authority (implied, express or ostensible) to accept service of the notices. For these two reasons, it was held that the notices were not validly served on Glencore by Conqueror. The judge therefore found that Glencore was entitled to relief from the arbitration award.
Author: David Kingsford, Trainee Solicitor. 2 January 2018
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