Tame made an application under Section 68 of the 1996 Arbitration Act to challenge an arbitrator’s award. More particularly, Tame sought to rely on the reasons published by the arbitrator separately from the award expressly on terms that no use should be made of them in any proceeding relating to it.

The dispute was referred to arbitration with the small claims procedure of the London Maritime Arbitrator’s Association. Neither party request an oral hearing but made substantial written submissions to the sole arbitrator. The arbitrator held that Tame was liable to Easy.

The award did not contain the arbitrator’s reasons. These were published separately in a document that made it clear that they were provided for the information of the parties only and on the understanding “that no use whatsoever is made of them or in connection with any proceedings on or related to the award.” By adopting the LMAA small claims procedure, the parties had expressly agreed to waive all rights for appeal, thereby making reasons redundant as far as questions for law are concerned. The commentary to the proceedings made it clear that the arbitrator would only give brief, privileged reasons for his decision.

Should the court examine the adjudicator’s reasons in order to consider whether there had been a serious irregularity under Section 68 of Arbitration Act 1996?