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Ahad and another v Uddin [2005] All ER (D) 144

Ahad and another v Uddin [2005] All ER (D) 144

In this partnership dispute, Bell Lax acted for the appellant, Mr Uddin.

Mr Ahad and Mr Uddin had been partners in a business venture pursuant to a partnership agreement with a standard form arbitration clause.

Mr Uddin subsequently purported to terminate Mr Ahad’s status as a partner. Mr Ahad brought proceedings alleging breach of the partnership deed.

Mr Ahad then served notice on Bell Lax’s client purporting to expel him from the partnership and terminate it. Mr Ahad successfully applied to amend his particulars of claim to the effect that the purported expulsion of him by Bell Lax’s client was invalid but that his expulsion of Mr Uddin was valid.

Bell Lax applied on Mr Uddin’s behalf under the Arbitration Act 1996 section 9 to stay the matters in the proceedings that were the subject of the amendment.

Although Bell Lax argued that the matters in the amendment were largely new issues that post-dated the original claim and that subsequently fell within the arbitration clause entitling Bell Lax’s client to a stay, the judge held that the old and new claims were substantially the same.

Section of the 1996 Act did not expressly address the position where particulars of claim were amended after the defendant had taken a step to address the substantive claim made in those particulars. The simple issue was whether the new matters were part and parcel of the matters already raised or whether they were discrete matters in respect of which section 9 entitled Bell Lax’s client to insist that they be arbitrated. On the assumption that there had been no arbitration clause, if the matters that were the subject of amendment had been raised before a different court, the pursuance of those issues would have been considered vexatious. In those circumstances, the issues raised by the amendment belonged in the instant action.