chapter  9
Extending agreed time limits for beginning arbitral proceedings
ByClare Ambrose, Karen Maxwell, Michael Collett QC
Pages 14

This chapter deals with the extension of contractual time limits, in either category, for commencing arbitration pursuant of the 1996 Act. It is very common for a charterparty or bill of lading to provide for a contractual time bar unless arbitration is commenced within a specified period. Before 1996, the courts had a wide statutory discretion to extend the time for commencing arbitration where a contractual time limit created undue hardship. Many tanker charterparties contain an arbitration clause with a separate provision limiting the time allowed for presentation of supporting documents for any claim, or for performance of some other act related to a claim. The time at which the circumstances are to be judged is when the parties agreed the arbitration clause. The operation of the time bar will depend on the terms of the arbitration clause in question but some forms are particularly common.