Under the Arbitration Ordinance (Cap.609), enforcement of an arbitration award can be refused if a party was not given proper notice of appointment of the arbitrator or of the arbitral proceedings. However, a party wishing to establish such must substantiate his case with good and well-founded reasons and evidence.
The facts of this case are briefly as follows. The Respondents did not respond to any pleadings, notices of arbitration, appointment of arbitrator or correspondence from the Applicant’s solicitors and were absent from the arbitration hearing itself. However, the arbitrator was satisfied that proper notice had been given to the Respondents and proceeded with the hearing in their absence.
The Applicant obtained an award against the Respondents for HK$25,000,000 (and interest at 60% p.a. on that sum) being the balance due under a share purchase agreement (“Purchase Agreement”). Upon the Applicant’s ex parte application, an order was made allowing the Applicant to enforce the award (“the Enforcement Order”). The Respondents applied to court to set aside the Enforcement Order on the ground that they were not given proper notice of the arbitration. The issue was whether the Enforcement Order should be set aside.
The Court was not persuaded by the Respondents’ case and evidence that they were not given proper notice of the arbitration and held that the Enforcement Order should not be set aside, for the following reasons:-
The Court also rejected the Respondents’ other argument for setting aside the Enforcement Order, namely that the award dealt with a difference not contemplated by or not falling within the terms of the submission to arbitration.