Usinor Steel v. m/v Koningsborg
DMC Category Rating: Developed
Case Note Submitted by Monique des Rosiers, an attorney with the firm of Healy & Baillie, LLP, New York. Healy & Baillie are the International Contributors to the website for the United States of America
The arbitration clause provided as follows:
The issue was whether the words "if any" in the clause rendered the clause permissive, and therefore unenforceable
The Court ultimately rejected cargo’s argument that "if any" undermined the mandatory nature of the arbitration clause, concluding that the qualifier "if any," by its natural language, simply meant that if any sort of dispute arose, resolution by arbitration became mandatory. Furthermore, the court noted that the Bills of Lading specifically highlighted the charterparty's "arbitration clause," and, by incorporating it, reflected the intent of the parties to arbitrate any disputes that might arise.
The Court held that granting a stay in favor of arbitration was preferable to dismissing the case entirely, because a stay was not appealable as a final order and therefore could avoid needless delay of the arbitration by saving the time required for appellate review.
These Case Notes have been prepared with care, but neither the Editor nor the International and other Contributors can guarantee that they are free from error, nor that they contain every pertinent point. Reliance should not therefore be placed upon them without independent verification. The Editor and the International and other Contributors disclaim all liability for any loss of whatsoever nature and howsoever arising as a result of others acting or refraining from acting in reliance on the contents of this website and the information to which it gives access. The Editor claims copyright in the content of the website.