George Vlavianos comments in Global Arbitration Review on a Queen’s Court of Alberta Bench ruling that a domestic arbitration over an Alberta oil sands project should be consolidated with a related international arbitration worth US$230 million—even though one of the parties (Japan’s Toyo Engineering Construction) has not consented to the cases being combined.
The dispute involves Toyo, its Canadian subsidiary and Japan Canada Oil Sands (JACOS). George and Christopher Petrucci are counsel to JACOS. Global Arbitration Review reports that:
JACOS’s counsel George Vlavianos of Bennett Jones in Doha tells GAR the court’s ruling will have “precedential value” on the issue of consolidating arbitrations without consent of the parties. “Most of the institutional arbitration rules are silent on this issue or require consent, or apply to a very narrow set of circumstances where they do not require consent.”
He says the decision “does represent a step away from the more traditional position – that consent of the parties is sacrosanct. It tests the core of what arbitration is supposed to be about.”
Vlavianos said that while some will no doubt disagree with the decision, it was “certainly the position that our client in the proceedings was advocating.”