England and Wales Court of Appeal, 13 March 2018, Allianz Insurance v. Tonicstar, [2017] EWHC 2753 (Comm)

The Court of Appeal confirmed the appointment of a British QC as arbitrator in a reinsurance dispute relating to the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center. The lower court previously found that the QC lacked the necessary experience.

The standard set of clauses in common use in the London market for excess of loss reinsurance applicable in the case at hand provides that: “Unless the parties otherwise agree the arbitration tribunal shall consist of persons with not less than ten years’ experience of insurance or reinsurance.

The appellants appointed Mr Alistair Schaff QC. The respondent objected to Mr Schaff’s on the ground that he does not possess the qualifications required by the arbitration agreement.

The Court finds that Mr Schaff has considerably more than 10 years’ experience of acting as counsel in insurance and reinsurance cases. This satisfies the qualification requirement under the clause.

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