Secretary of State for the Environment v Euston Centre Investments Ltd

JurisdictionEngland & Wales
Judgment Date09 December 1994
Date09 December 1994
CourtChancery Division

Chancery Division

Before Mr John Cherryman, QC

Secretary of State for the Environment
Euston Centre Investments Ltd

Arbitration - striking-out - stringent test for appeals

Stringent test in arbitration appeal

A more stringent test for striking out purposes applied to appeals to the High Court from the awards of arbitrators, whether in commercial or property disputes, than to actions commenced in the High Court.

A failure to conduct and prosecute the appeal from an arbitral award with proper despatch was sufficient to justify the proceedings being struck out for want of prosecution.

Mr John Cherryman, QC, sitting as a deputy judge of the Chancery Division, so held in a reserved judgment when acceding to the application of Euston Centre Investments Ltd for an order to strike out for want of prosecution proceedings initiated by the Secretary of State for the Environment.

Mr Michael Barnes, QC and Mr John Male for Euston Centre Investments; Mr Jonathan Gaunt, QC, for the secretary of state.

HIS LORDSHIP said that Euston Centre was the landlord and the secretary of state the tenant of premises let by a lease dated May 9, 1970 which was subject to seven-yearly rent reviews.

As the parties could not agree the market rent on the third rent review, determination of the rent was referred to an arbitrator who, having heard the parties, made his award on May 28, 1992 determining the market rent as at March 25, 1991 at £7,760,000 a year.

The tenant sought leave to appeal within 21 days as required by Order 73, rule 5 of the Rules of the Supreme Court but since then there had been deplorable delay.

The landlord's application to strike out the tenant's proceedings was made under the inherent jurisdiction of the court. Mr Gaunt submitted that that jurisdiction had to be exercised in the present case in accordance with the principles stated by Lord Diplock in Birkett v JamesELR ((1978) AC 297, 318).

It was accepted that if that were the correct test the landlord's application would fail as it could not establish that the delay would give rise to a substantial risk that it was not possible to have a fair trial of the issues in the action or was such as was likely to cause or to have caused serious prejudice to the defendants either as between themselves and the plaintiff or between each other or between them and a third party.

Mr Barnes, however, submitted that the Birkett v James principles did not apply to appeal proceedings in the High Court...

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5 cases
  • Huyton SA v Jakil SpA
    • United Kingdom
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 24 March 1998
    ... ... the test approved in this court in Secretary of State for the Environment v Euston Centre ... court judge, in Shield Properties & Investments Ltd v Anglo-Overseas Transport Co Ltd (No 2) ... ...
  • Terna Bahrain Holding Company Wll v Ali Marzook Ali Bin Kamil Al Shamsi and Others
    • United Kingdom
    • Queen's Bench Division (Commercial Court)
    • 22 November 2012
    ... ... Since the Bin Kamils have chosen not to state their reasons in evidence, it is impossible to ... promotion and maintenance of London as a centre for international arbitrations. The Parliamentary ... of our arbitration system: see Secretary of State for the Environment v Euston Centre ... ...
  • Secretary of State for the Environment v Euston Centre Investments Ltd
    • United Kingdom
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 24 June 1994
  • Nagusina Naviera v Allied Maritime Inc. (The Maria K)
    • United Kingdom
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 16 July 2002
    ...described by Steyn LJ in the Euston Central case." 34 The judge was there referring to the authority of the Secretary of State for the Environment v Euston Central Investments Ltd [1995] Ch 200(thus even before the 1996 Act) where Steyn LJ (as he was) considered the rationale of recent legi......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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