How Do You Remove One Of The Parties From A Multi-Party Agreement

This decision is a useful reminder of the pitfalls that may appear in multi-contract and multi-party parameters and an invitation to remember some practical advice to take into account when developing dispute resolution clauses in such an environment. If a single contract is followed by another separate contract (as in this case), the presumption of "a stoppage" has even less weight, because "it is easier to conclude that the parties have different jurisdictions to deal with different aspects of the relationship... although the effect may fragment the entire dispute resolution process" (see Trust Risk Group, [49], [59]). Where possible, in a multi-contracting scenario, jurisdiction should therefore be provided under the same conditions in each of the agreements. Consideration should also be given to the circumstances under which consolidation and membership may be necessary. Such clauses require very careful elaboration. First, this case highlights the pitfalls that can arise when the parties to a number of related agreements provide different dispute resolution mechanisms for disputes in various agreements and between the parties. As the Court of Appeal found in this case, the interdependent provisions (and the claims they contain) and "the fact that they contain indidious arbitration clauses make it difficult to decide on the location of jurisdiction in a particular case." The resolution of these legal difficulties only increases the costs of arbitration and delays the resolution of the material dispute. The existence of several dispute resolution clauses can also lead to inconsistent decisions. The dispute a result of OMV Maurice Energy Ltd`s (OMV) request to pay Zaver Petroleum Corporation Ltd (Zaver) and Ocean Pakistan Ltd (OPL) amounts due as operating costs under a joint enterprise agreement of 29 December 1999 (JOA) included in a separate oil concession agreement concluded on the same day (LE PCA).

The crucial question was whether the dispute fell within the compromise clause contained in the JOA or Article 7.2 of a separate farm out agreement of 30 March 2000 (DAS BLW). At trial, Burton J found that the disputes between OMV and OPL and Zaver fell within the scope of the arbitration agreement contained in the JOA. OPL and Zaver appealed and argued that the litigation had been brought under the FOA. Second, if they really intend to settle various disputes in related agreements in different for a, the parties should clearly state that intention. In this case, the Court of Appeal did not accept that the parties to the FOA were "so concerned about the uncertainty as to how it is concerned.



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