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A v A (Arbitration: Guidance) [2021] EWHC 1889 (Fam)

31st July 2021

Judgment: The parties were aged 63. They had married in 1979, and separated in 2018. Four applications were made concerning an arbitrator's award made in 2020. The wife applied for the husband to show cause as to why he should not be held to the terms of the award. The husband challenged the award pursuant to s 68 of the Arbitration Act 1996, applied for leave to appeal on a point of law under s 69, and had invited the Family Court to decline to make an order in the terms of the award. The husband's challenges to the award failed on the basis that the award was not wrong; there was no relevant uncertainty, ambiguity, irregularity, or failure to deal with the issues. The disordered procedural steps in this case, together with his knowledge of similar procedural chaos in other cases, led Mostyn J to formulate guidance about the correct procedure to be adopted where one party wished to challenge an arbitral award, or where a party wished to implement an arbitral award in the face of opposition from the other party. The guidance, including a proposed standard order, was set out in the Appendix to the judgment and was issued with the authority and approval of the President of the Family Division.