Thomas G. Heintzman, O.C., Q.C., FCIArb

Supreme Court of Canada Holds: Court May Dismiss Action Based On An International Commercial Agreement Even After The Defendant Files A Defence

A very recent decision of the Supreme Court of Canada has held that a court may properly dismiss an action arising from an international commercial agreement, even after the defendant has filed a Statement of Defence:  Momentous.ca Corp. v. Canadian American Association of Professional Baseball Ltd.  This decision is important since the contracts in issue […]

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Can You Change Horses When Appealing From An Arbitration Decision?

Arbitration and court proceedings may be different, but can a party substantially change its position when it appeals from an arbitration award to the court?  At the very least, it seems like questionable strategy to do so.  The British Columbia Court of Appeal held that the appellant could not do so in VIH Aviation Group […]

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Conduct After An Arbitration Award May Nullify That Award

A party to a contract may terminate the contract and then start an arbitration to confirm the validity of the termination. If the arbitral tribunal grants such a declaration, then that party better watch out that it doesn’t continue to treat the contract as still continuing. If it does, it may waive the termination, and […]

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An Insurance Clause Does Not Necessarily Bar A Claim By The Owner

When does an insurance clause in a construction contract bar a claim by the owner against the contractor?  Is it barred if the contract requires that the contractor obtain insurance and that the owner is to be named as an additional insured and that subrogation is waived against the owner?  That was the issue in […]

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An International Commercial Arbitral Award Is Enforced Even Though It Provided No Reasons

In Canada, the obligation of a tribunal to give reasons has become one of the hallmarks of justice.  But do arbitrators have an obligation to give reasons?  Not if the parties agree that no such reasons need be given and the arbitration is an international commercial arbitration conducted pursuant to the UNCITRAL Model Law.  That […]

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How Correct Does An Arbitrator Have To Be?

What margin of error does an arbitrator have?  Should an arbitral tribunal’s decision be set aside if it is legally incorrect?  Or should a wider deference be shown, so that a decision will only be set aside if it is unreasonable, or perverse? And how detailed does an arbitral decision have to be? Can it […]

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Remember Rainy Sky: The Commercially Sensible Interpretation Prevails

Every once in a while, an important decision comes along which should be put in your hip pocket so that it can be pulled out when needed.  Rainy Sky S.A. v. Kookmin Bank is such a decision.  In this decision, the U.K. Supreme Court (formerly the House of Lords) recently held that if there is […]

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Which Dispute Resolution System Applies – Construction Lien or Arbitration?

Courts have difficulty reconciling the rights of parties to arbitration when there are construction liens, cross claims, counterclaims and third party rights involved.  How can arbitration, which is a bilateral dispute resolution system, resolve those disparate rights?  And what appeal rights are there for the parties who are dissatisfied with a judge’s conclusion that the […]

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The Limitation Period Quagmire Between Litigation and Arbitration

The limitation period is a vexing issue to any party involved in a commercial dispute.  This truism applies even more to construction disputes because there are a variety of events that may trigger the beginning of the limitation period.  The limitation issue becomes even more vexing when the proceeding can be either:  by way of […]

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When Is An Arbitration Award An Enforceable Judgment?

When you enter into an arbitration agreement, do you think about whether the arbitration process results in an enforceable judgment?  You should. The award that you receive at the end of the arbitration process isn’t a judgment and can’t be immediately enforced as a judgment.  That is what the U.K. Court of Appeal recently held […]

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