Halliburton Co. v. Chubb Bermuda Insurance Ltd.
United Kingdom Supreme Court
 UKSC 48 (2020)
After the 2010 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico, Halliburton Company (plaintiff) settled claims arising from the incident. Halliburton sought to recover the amount of the settlement payments from its insurer, Chubb Bermuda Insurance Ltd. (Chubb) (defendant), but Chubb asserted that the settlements were unreasonable and refused to pay. Halliburton commenced arbitration proceedings against Chubb in London, England. In June 2015, a United Kingdom High Court selected one of Chubb’s proposed arbitrators, Mr. Rokison, to chair the arbitration tribunal. In November 2016, Halliburton learned that (1) in December 2015, Rokison had accepted Chubb’s appointment to serve as an arbitrator for an excess-liability claim arising out of the Deepwater Horizon incident and (2) in August 2016, Rokison had accepted an appointment as a substitute arbitrator in another insurance-related arbitration involving Deepwater Horizon. Rokison had not disclosed either of those appointments to Halliburton. Rokison subsequently told Halliburton’s counsel that Rokison believed he was not obligated to disclose the appointments because the matters involved different issues and evidence from the Chubb-Halliburton arbitration. Halliburton called for Rokison to resign, but Chubb objected. Halliburton then asked the High Court to remove Rokison as chair. The High Court held a hearing on Halliburton’s application in January 2017 but denied Halliburton’s request, finding no justifiable concerns about Rokison’s impartiality. The tribunal in the Halliburton-Chubb dispute ultimately ruled in Chubb’s favor. Halliburton appealed, arguing that Rokison’s nondisclosure of the other appointments suggested that Rokison was biased. The court of appeal rejected Halliburton’s challenge, holding that a fair-minded observer would not have found a real possibility that Rokison was biased against Halliburton. Halliburton appealed to the United Kingdom Supreme Court.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Hodge, J.)
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