Arbitration Law Monthly

Scope of arbitration clause: liability and quantum disputes

It has for many years been the practice for arbitration clauses in insurance policies to draw a distinction between quantum disputes (which are to be arbitrated) and liability disputes (which are to go to court). In one sense every dispute under an insurance policy is a quantum dispute, in that it inevitably affects how much - if anything - will ultimately be paid by the insurers. In DC Bars Ltd and Another v QIC Europe Ltd [2023] EWHC 245 (Comm) Sir Nigel Teare has held, in effect, that quantum disputes are concerned purely with calculation of sums owing on the basis that there is liability. This ensures that substantive issues are resolved in public, and only the maths is behind closed doors.

DC Bars: the facts

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