Au Québec, lorsqu’il s’agit d’apprécier la validité de la sentence arbitrale, le tribunal va rechercher si la sentence elle-même contrevient à des dispositions d’ordre public. – #54

Dans l’arrêt Perreault c. Groupe Jonathan Benoît, 2021 QCCS 1350, l’honorable Peter Kalichman rejette la demande en annulation de la sentence arbitrale et accueille la Demande d’homologation. Cet arrêt nous rappelle que pour annuler une sentence arbitrale ou s’opposer à son homologation au motif qu’elle est contraire aux dispositions d’ordre public, une partie doit faire plus que simplement démontrer que l’arbitre a commis une erreur dans son application des règles d’ordre public. Dans l’arrêt Desputeaux c. Éditions Chouette (1987) inc., 2003 CSC 17, la Cour suprême nous enseigne que la partie doit démontrer que la sentence arbitrale elle-même est incompatible avec l’ordre public.

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Leave to Appeal Refused When the Arbitral Tribunal Empowered by ICC Arbitration Rules Bars Late-Raised Legal Argument for Procedural Fairness – #53

This post aims to summarize part of the analysis in the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta’s decision on TR Canada Inc v Cahill Industrial Limited, 2021 ABQB 274.

Factual Background

In August 2014, TR Canada Inc. (“TR”) was awarded a contract to be the general contractor responsible for the construction of two gas turbine generators and two heat recovery steam generators, which are connecting to the Fort Hills electrical system.

TR subcontracted the physical work to Cahill Industrial Ltd. (“Cahill”). Cahill was required to perform the “balance of plant works”, which included the electro-mechanical erection works of the project. The terms of the subcontract between TR and Cahill referred the disputes between the parties to arbitration.

A number of disputes arose between TR and Cahill during the project. Those disputes related to coordination and sequencing of the various subcontractors and works, as well as changes and additions to the scope of work.

On December 4, 2018, the pleadings of the arbitration proceeding between TR and Cahill commenced.

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L’affaire Specter Aviation c. Laprade : L’état de jurisprudence justifie la permission d’appeler d’un jugement concernant l’autonomie de la clause d’arbitrage – #51

Cet article vise à résumer un jugement récent rendu par l’honorable Monsieur le Juge Bachand de la Cour d’appel du Québec concernant l’autonomie de la clause d’arbitrage (Specter Aviation c. Laprade, 2021 QCCA 183).

Les faits pertinents

En avril 2012, M. Laprade, World Aircraft Leasing Inc. (ci-après « WAS ») et United Mining Supply (ci-après « UMS »)  signent « l’Avenant au protocole d’accord USM Aviation établi en avril 2012 ». M. Laprade et World Aircraft Leasing Inc. (ci-après « WAL ») assoient leur droit de propriété dans l’avion de type Beechcraft Super King Air 300 (ci-après « l’Avion Beechcraft 300 »). L’Avenant contient la clause suivante :

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lululemon v. ICP: The Standard of Reasonableness will Generally Best Serve to Preserve the Autonomy of the Forum Selected by the Parties and to Minimize Judicial Intervention – #48

The yoga practitioners must have heard of lululemon. Indeed, headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia, lululemon is the high-end yoga-focused chain featuring stylish athletic wear and accessories. It sells its products in retail stores and directly to consumers through their online platforms. Industrial Color Productions Inc. (“ICP”) is a professional media production company located across the USA. ICP provided professional media production services and photography for lululemon’s e-commerce platforms since October 2017. However, in May 2019, lululemon notified ICP that it intended to terminate the Agreement. Their contractual disputes were brought to the arbitral tribunal seated in Vancouver, Canada. In April 2020, the arbitrator rendered his award, requiring lululemon to pay to ICP, inter alia, an amount of US$1,081,967 and applicable interest as the damages for breach of contract. lululemon seeks to set aside this portion of the award before the Supreme Court of British Columbia as it claims that the arbitrator went beyond the scope of the submission to arbitration in making an award that ICP did not plead during the arbitral hearing (lululemon athletica canada inc. v Industrial Color Productions Inc., 2021 BCSC 15).

This court decision reminds us that the standard of reasonableness and not correctness will generally best serve to preserve the autonomy of the forum consensually selected by the parties and to minimize judicial intervention. It points out that although the Ontario courts applied standard of correctness on reviewing question of jurisdiction in The United Mexican States v. Burr, 2020 ONSC 2376 and Mexico v. Cargill, Incorporated, 2011 ONCA 622, a commercial dispute involving two private companies is “foundationally different than” an investment dispute between a state and foreign investors. In addition, Mr. Justice Funt noted that the parties’ expectations as to the completeness of the arbitrator’s reasons should be less than those of the parties engaged in the commercial litigation before the judicial tribunal.

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Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Award: Maritime Court of China Recognized and Enforced a Singaporean Award which Awarded Interest that the Party Did Not Claim – #47

Factual Background

On 14 September 2014, Emphor FZCO (“Emphor”) signs a shipbuilding contract (“Shipbuilding Contract”) with Guangdong Yuexin Ocean Engineering Co., Ltd. (“Yuexin”) for the purchase of a 60.6 meters anchor handling tug supply vessel. They agree that Yuexin should fulfil its delivery obligations on or before March 3, 2016 and that if Yuexin fails to fulfill its delivery obligations due to the force majeure, Emphor can terminate the contract after an excessively delayed delivery of over 210 calendar days. As a consequence, Yuexin should refund all payment for bookings and pay the interests at an annual rate of 6%.

On December 3, 2013, their Contract comes into effect.

On October 10, 2016, as Yuexin fails to fulfil its delivery obligations, Emphor notifies Yuexin that Emphor is going to terminate the contract. Moreover, Emphor also requests Yuexin to refund US$ 2,780,000 that Emphor has prepaid for the vessel and the interests to Emphor.

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疫情加速网上庭审时代来临,参与模拟仲裁庭炼就网上庭辩技能 — 记加拿大资深仲裁员Daniel Urbas和Julie Hopkins组织的模拟网上仲裁庭系列活动 – #45

从爆发到蔓延全球,新冠疫情已持续了将近一年。全球各地的法院,为了维护司法秩序,避免延期审理导致诉讼案件积压和司法不公,陆续开设互联网法院,又称云法院。另外,各大仲裁机构也开始设立并完善网上仲裁庭审规则。例如,将于2021年生效的《国际商会仲裁规则》第26条授予仲裁庭更大的权限,允许仲裁庭根据案件的有关事实和情况决定庭审形式。换言之,仲裁庭有权决定利用电视会议推进案件审理进程。可见,疫情加速了网上庭审时代的来临。古人云,祸兮福之所倚,福兮祸之所伏。笔者认为,网上庭审将在一定程度上提高纠纷解决的效率,降低纠纷解决律师的执业成本。然而,网上庭审也存在许多技术难题。

2020年4月至10月期间,笔者协助加拿大资深仲裁员Daniel Urbas律师和Julie Hopkins律师组织了模拟网上仲裁庭系列活动。这个系列活动旨在锻炼网上庭辩技能,了解参与网上庭审所需设备和注意事项,找寻将视讯软件(videoconference platforms)各项功能与法律执业传统技能融合的办法。该系列活动吸引了来自温哥华,多伦多,蒙特利尔,卡尔加里,渥太华,休斯顿,纽约,芝加哥,波士顿,华盛顿等资深仲裁员和律师参加。他们都是各自法域里的律界翘楚,他们都熟练掌握律师执业传统技能,如法律文书写作,庭审开庭陈词,结案陈词,盘问证人等。通过该系列活动,我也有幸与Daniel Urbas仲裁员和Julie Hopkins仲裁员一同,观摩,探讨,学习,锻炼网上庭辩技能。

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L’affaire Caron c. Triviom : La procédure de nomination d’arbitre prévue dans la clause d’arbitrage est contraire à l’ordre public et nulle, mais le reste de la clause d’arbitrage demeure valide – #44

Les faits pertinents (Caron c. 7834101 Canada inc. (Triviom à Charlemagne ), 2020 QCCS 2859)

En janvier 2015, dans l’affaire Saindon c. Triviom (Saindon c. 7834101 Canada Inc., 2015 QCCQ 682), la Cour du Québec rejette une demande d’exception déclinatoire de la défenderesse Triviom parce que la clause d’arbitrage en litige est rédigée à l’avantage de Triviom en ce sens qu’elle contrôle l’identité et la qualité des trois arbitres possibles à solutionner le conflit. La Cour du Québec conclut que la procédure de nomination de l’arbitre est nulle parce qu’elle est contraire à l’article 2641 C.c.Q.

Triviom ne porte pas cette décision de la Cour du Québec en appel.

Le 14 avril 2017, malgré la décision Saindon, Triviom et Caron concluent le Contrat préliminaire de vente de condominium qui inclut la même clause d’arbitrage. Ce contrat a pour objet la construction d’une unité de condominium, livrable en novembre 2017. La clause 5.10 se lit comme suit:

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Evaluate the worldwide damages in the epidemic of defective computer graphic cards in the international sales of goods disputes – #40

I have participated in the 18th CIETAC Cup Commercial Arbitration Moot Competition as an arbitrator last week on a videoconference platform named VooV Meeting. It has been my great honour and privilege to sit with the experienced arbitrators and lawyers from different jurisdictions during this event. And we are glad to see that the students in China are able to plead the CISG related matters fluently in English and to answer our questions directly and effectively during their deliberations (See my one-minute speech as the Arbitrator of CIETAC Cup).

As you may already know, this year, the Problem concerns the applicability of United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (“CISG”) on the purchase and license agreement on the viral sectors for the production of vaccines against respiratory diseases, such as COVID-19. In the Problem, Claimant only requires the arbitral tribunal to declare the existence of a breach of contract of the Respondent as Claimant is not yet in a position, to exactly identify the specific remedy required. Out of curiosity, I have read a recent decision of Superior Court of Quebec to learn how the Quebec courts evaluate the worldwide damages in the epidemic of defective computer graphic cards litigation.

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The CISG Governs the Sale of Computer Graphic Cards Contract While the Quebec Law Determines the Weight to be Given to Evidence by the Court – #38

The China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC) is hosting the 18th CIETAC Cup Commercial Arbitration Moot Competition in November 2020. I am going to participate in this online arbitration competition as an arbitrator. This year, the Problem concerns the applicability of United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (“CISG”) on the purchase and license agreement on the viral sectors for the production of vaccines against respiratory diseases, such as COVID-19. Out of curiosity, I have read a recent decision of Superior Court of Quebec to learn how the Quebec courts use CISG and domestic laws to decide “whether or not to award damages and, if so, for what amount” in the disputes arising out of a sale contract of the computer graphic cards between the multinational companies. The Court notes that while the CISG governs the sale of computer graphic cards contract, the rules applicable to evidence in this case are in the Book Seven of the Civil Code of Quebec.

Key Facts

In early 1998, the Plaintiff purchased the Defendant’s graphic cards for new Kayak and Vectra personal computers. The worldwide Business Desktop Division (“BDD”) of the Plaintiff operates primarily in Grenoble, France.

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Mazzetta v. Dégust-Mer: Quebec Courts Have Jurisdiction as the CISG Governs the Sales Contract of the Frozen Lobsters – #36

The United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG) is designed to facilitate international trade and to remove legal barriers among Contracting States by providing substantive rules that regulate the duties and obligations of parties to a commercial transaction, such as the delivery of goods, contract formation, and remedies for breach of contract (See Preamble of the CISG). The CISG applies to contracts of sale of goods between parties whose places of business are in different Contracting States (See Art. 1 (1) (a) of CISG). As of October 2020, 94 states have ratified the CISG (See Updates on CISG). The USA is a signatory of CISG, which has been in effect there since 1986. Canada acceded to the CISG in 1992, and Quebec incorporated it into domestic law through An Act respecting the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods, which has been taken into effect since May 1, 1992. In April 2011, the Quebec Court of Appeal ruled on the disputes between a Quebec frozen lobster seller, Dégust-Mer, and an American company, Mazzeta, the buyer who had failed to pay for the sale and delivery fees of frozen lobsters (Mazzetta Company, l.l.c. c. Dégust-Mer inc.2011 QCCA 717). This court decision reminds us that the governing law of this international sales of goods contract should be the CISG.

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