The appellant, Warborough, challenged an award in a rent review arbitration on the grounds that there had been serious irregularity for the purposes of section 68 Arbitration Act 1996. The arbitrator had made an award based on comparable nearby premises put forward by Warborough's surveyor, but made an adjustment favourable to the respondent tenant to allow for the fact that the user clause on these premises was extended to allow for limited retail use. The respondent tenant had argued before the arbitrator via its surveyor that Warborough's proposed comparables were irrelevant on account of the difference in user. The judge at first instance found that it was not an irregularity for an arbitrator to apply the information put into the arena by the tenant, and to extract an alternative case. Case details: 10 June 2003, Court of Appeal Civil Division, Judgment of Lord Justice Jonathan Parker
Warborough appealed on the basis that the judge had been wrong to hold that the fact that the arbitrator did not invite further representations on the question of whether an appropriate adjustment of the rent of the comparable premises to reflect a lack of retail user did not amount to a breach of the statutory duty of fairness, and argued that this had caused substantial injustice to Warborough.