JAMS Global Construction Solutions -- Winter 2012

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In this Issue:

  • Caught between Arbitrators and the Courts: Interim Measures in U.S. International Arbitration
  • MUSCULAR ARBITRATION
  • Med-Arb, Why Not?
  • If A Frog Had Wings: Expectations and Realities of Construction Dispute Resolution
  • Notices & Events

Excerpt from Caught between Arbitrators and the Courts: Interim Measures in U.S. International Arbitration

Though the Channel Tunnel connecting Britain and France was one of the great construction and engineering accomplishments of the late twentieth century, in the fall of 1991 its construction was mired in a legal dispute. Work on the tunnel had by that time been underway for more than three-and-a-half years. A dispute arose between Eurotunnel, the owners and future operators of the tunnel, and Trans-Manche Link (TML), the consortium of French and British companies building the tunnel. TML claimed that Eurotunnel was shortchanging it on payments related to the construction of the tunnel’s cooling system. In October 1991, TML threatened to suspend all work on the cooling system if its demands were not met. Despite the fact that the contract between Eurotunnel and TML contained a clause requiring the parties to resolve any disputes by arbitration in Brussels, Eurotunnel sought an injunction from an English court requiring TML to continue its work until the dispute was resolved by arbitration. TML responded that the English court had no jurisdiction because the parties had agreed to use arbitration. The case, known as Channel Tunnel Group v. Balfour Beatty Construction, eventually reached the House of Lords, which refused to grant the injunction.

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