THE ADVOCATE 543
VOL. 76 PART 4 JULY 2018
At the time of writing no appeal has yet been heard. Parties to several arbitrations
have elected the right of appeal and one appeal has been commenced.
The Centre welcomes comments on the appeal process and other aspects
of its Rules.
1. See also the discussion regarding the history of the
amendments in “A View from the Centre” (2016) 74
Advocate 875. The Rules are available on the Centre’s
2. RSBC 1996, c 55.
3. Which has been further narrowed by Sattva Capital
Corp v Creston Moly Corp, 2014 SCC 53.
WAIT! WHAT ABOUT THAT CONFLICT OF INTEREST?
By Rajit Mittal and David Wotherspoon*
The B.C. Court of Appeal’s recent decision in Atlantic Industries Limited v.
SNC-Lavalin Constructors (Pacific) Inc.1 provides insight into an arbitrator’s
disclosure obligations, including the extent of disclosure required to properly
inform a party to an arbitration about a possible conflict. It also considers
what constitutes a valid waiver of the right to object to a reasonable
apprehension of bias and issues a warning to parties who do not object in
a timely manner and who choose not to make further inquiries about the
nature of the potential conflict upon receiving notice that a potential
OVERVIEW OF THE CASE
Atlantic Industries Limited (“AIL”) and SNC-Lavalin Constructors (Pacific)
Inc. (“SNC”) were adverse in a construction dispute before a single arbitrator,
who had been chosen by the parties from a list of three acceptable arbitrators
proposed by AIL.
One month before the arbitration was set to begin, the arbitrator
informed the parties by way of letter (the “First Disclosure Letter”) that he
had just learned one of the lawyers in his firm had been engaged to act on
behalf of SNC in an unrelated matter some months prior. The arbitrator
explained that the conflict check undertaken at the time this engagement
was opened was mistakenly understood to mean that SNC was a client of
the arbitrator (which was not the case), and consequently the potential con-
* Rajit Mittal is an associate, and David Wotherspoon a partner, at Dentons’ Vancouver office.