Chancery Bar Association Response to Law Commission Arbitration Act 1996 Consultation: the Time for Trust Arbitration?

On 14 December 2022, the Chancery Bar Association gave its response to Law Commission Consultation Paper 257, which contained the Law Commission’s review of the Arbitration Act 1996 and how it operates as the essential framework for the conduct of arbitrations in England and Wales.

In general terms, the Chancery Bar Association agreed with the Law Commission’s stance that the “Arbitration Act 1996 works well” and that extensive amendments to the legislative scheme would not be necessary. However, in a detailed and extensive paper, the Chancery Bar Association has advocated in favour of certain proposals including the codification of the obligation of confidentiality in arbitrations and more widely, the introduction of specific legislation which would facilitate trust arbitration in this jurisdiction. With regards to the latter, the Chancery Bar Association noted the specific difficulties in adapting the provisions of the Arbitration Act 1996 to the trust context (such as for instance, the difficulties faced in relation to minor or unborn beneficiaries) and the parallel example of offshore jurisdictions like The Bahamas (see the Trustee (Amendment) Act 2011 in particular) who have successfully catered for such arbitrations.

James Bradford, a barrister at 39 Essex Chambers, co-authored the paper on behalf of the Chancery Bar Association.

To read the paper in full click here.