Judgment in the Svea Court of Appeal, 22 April 2016, Case No. T 7186-14
Summary: Claimant challenged the arbitral award, alleging that both the chairman and the arbitrator appointed by respondent had lacked in impartiality and independence. Pursuant to paragraph 5 of Section 34 of the Swedish Arbitration Act, in the event that an arbitrator is disqualified based on a ground listed in Section 8 of the Act, the arbitration award shall be wholly or partially annulled following a challenge from a party.
Claimant allegedly became aware of the underlying circumstances after the award had been rendered, and argued that the arbitrators’ failure to disclose those circumstances was a an aggravating factor and a further ground for challenge. Regarding the arbitrator appointed by respondent, claimant noted that he (i) worked at a research center that received donations from a trust belonging to the respondent’s group of companies; (ii) served as an expert witness on behalf of another member of the respondent’s group of companies. Regarding the chairperson, Claimant stated that he shared office space with lawyers that provided legal advice to the respondent’s group of companies.
The Svea Court of Appeal dismissed the challenge in its entirety. Having considered all the various circumstances and relationships on which claimant’s challenge was based, the court concluded that those circumstances could not – whether separately or seen together – serve as grounds for annulment of the arbitration award.