Recent developments have impacted the much-anticipated update to the English Arbitration Act 1996. Proposed reforms, developed by the Law Commission and through a consultation process, marked the first significant changes to the Act since its inception. However, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s unexpected decision to call a general election in July 2024 has halted all current parliamentary business, including the passage of the bill to reform the Act.

In this article series, we look at key arbitration related decisions from the past year and draw out the key lessons for users of arbitration.

Arbitral awards are rarely set aside by national courts but the 2023 English case of The Federal Republic of Nigeria v Process & Industrial Developments Ltd. involved an extraordinary and successful challenge to an US $11bn award for serious irregularity, despite the high threshold applied by English law. The judgment expressly invited the arbitration community to reflect on best practice for disputes involving states and large sums to ensure fairness and the visible integrity of the process.

AQuate II, LLC v. Jessica Tedrick Myers and Kituwah Global Gov’t Group, LLC, is, as all parties put it, about “an archetypical trade secrets claim,” but with a couple of twists: sovereign immunity and an agreement to resolve disputes in a forum that allegedly does not exist.

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A recent complaint alleging trade secret misappropriation in the Eastern District of New York demonstrates the importance of combing an alleged trade secret misappropriator’s social media for subtle – and not-so-subtle – evidence of their wrongdoing.

The United States has charged Klaus Pflugbeil and Yilong Shao with conspiring to convey

The New York Court of Appeals recently endorsed the trial court’s discretion to grant leave to amend a complaint under CPLR 3025 (b), holding that when the appellate court dismisses the plaintiffs’ complaint without prejudice, and the original action remained pending in the trial court with defendants’ counterclaims, the trial court may grant plaintiffs leave to file a third amended complaint.

The New York Court of Appeals recently clarified and reinforced the attorney-client privilege, explaining that certain internal training materials reflecting legal analysis of statutory, regulatory, and decisional law constituted attorney-client communications “prepared for the purpose of facilitating the rendition of legal advice or services, in the course of a professional relationship,” and rejected numerous arguments to the contrary.