Northern Elevator Manufacturing Sdn Bhd v United Engineers (Singapore) Pte Ltd

JurisdictionSingapore
CourtCourt of Three Judges (Singapore)
JudgeChao Hick Tin JA
Judgment Date10 October 2003
Neutral Citation[2003] SGCA 41
Citation[2003] SGCA 41
Subject MatterAppeals,Application to set aside Notice of Appeal -Whether filing of Notice of Appeal irregular for non-compliance with Arbitration Act (Cap 10, 1985 Ed) s 28(7),Whether filing of Notice of Appeal amounted to abuse of process,Notice,Application to set aside Notice of Appeal,Civil Procedure
Date10 October 2003
Defendant CounselC R Rajah SC, (instructed) with Mary Ong and Christine Wee (Hoh Law Corporation)
Plaintiff CounselMonica Neo (Chantan LLC)
Published date17 December 2003
Docket NumberCivil Appeal No 57 of 2003

Delivered by Judith Prakash J

1 This motion arises out of an appeal filed by Northern Elevator Manufacturing Sdn Bhd (‘NEM’) against a court order granting United Engineers (Singapore) Pte Ltd (‘United Engineers’) leave to appeal against an arbitration award. United Engineers has applied for the notice of appeal to be set aside on the ground that the filing of the appeal was irregular for non-compliance with a statutory provision.

Background

2 United Engineers and NEM were parties to a building construction contract. Disputes arose under the contract and were referred to arbitration. In December 2001, the arbitrator found NEM to be at fault. Subsequently, by an interim award issued on 23 January 2003, he awarded United Engineers certain sums as damages.

3 United Engineers was dissatisfied with the way in which the arbitrator had arrived at the quantum of damages. As the arbitration proceedings were commenced prior to 1 March 2002, they were governed by the Arbitration Act (Cap 10, 1985 Ed) (‘the Act’) and not by the Arbitration Act 2001 (Act 37 of 2001) (‘the New Act’) which replaced it. Under the Act, there was limited recourse to the courts for a party who was dissatisfied with the arbitrator’s award. An appeal could only be lodged on a question of law that arose out of the award and, pursuant to s 28(5)(b), unless all parties agreed to the appeal, leave of court was required for it to be heard. Thus, on 9 May 2003, United Engineers filed a motion in the High Court whereby it asked for:

(1) leave to appeal against the award; and

(2) on the basis that such leave was given, an order that the award be remitted to the arbitrator for reconsideration together with the opinion of the court on the question of law which formed the subject of the appeal.

4 The motion came on for hearing before Justice Lai Siu Chiu on 9 May 2003. After hearing arguments, the Judge granted United Engineers leave to appeal against the award. The Judge then proceeded with the hearing of the appeal proper and granted the appeal. It was ordered that the award be remitted to the arbitrator for the computation of certain damages on a basis specified by the Judge and that certain other costs should be based on a particular quotation and not on the unit rate which had been used in the award for the purposes of the calculation.

5 A week later, on 16 May 2003, NEM filed a notice of motion (NM 53/2003) by which it applied for leave to appeal against Justice Lai’s decision (a) granting United Engineers ‘leave to appeal against part of the 2nd interim award of the Arbitrator’ and (b) ‘remitting the same to the Arbitrator for the recomputation of various items’. The application, which was fixed for hearing on 23 May 2003, was adjourned to a special hearing date.

6 On 5 June 2003, NEM filed their notice of appeal in the present appeal, Civil Appeal No. 57 of 2003 (‘CA 57/2003’). By this notice, NEM appealed to the Court of Appeal ‘against such part only of [the...

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3 cases
  • Ng Chin Siau and Others v How Kim Chuan
    • Singapore
    • Court of Three Judges (Singapore)
    • 27 September 2007
    ...v Hiap Hong & Co Pte Ltd [2000] 2 SLR 609 at [16]; and Northern Elevator Manufacturing Sdn Bhd v United Engineers (Singapore) Pte Ltd [2003] 4 SLR 492 (“Northern Elevator”) at [12]. However, the Court of Appeal in Northern Elevator went on to observe that this procedural point was of “limit......
  • The Coal Authority v Davidson and Another
    • United Kingdom
    • Queen's Bench Division (Technology and Construction Court)
    • 9 September 2008
    ...... the correct principle to the facts: see Northern Elevator Manufacturing Limited v United Engineers (Singapore) Ltd [2004] 2 SLR 494 . (b) There is no ......
  • Ng Chin Siau and Others v How Kim Chuan
    • Singapore
    • Court of Three Judges (Singapore)
    • 27 September 2007
    ...v Hiap Hong & Co Pte Ltd [2000] 2 SLR 609 at [16]; and Northern Elevator Manufacturing Sdn Bhd v United Engineers (Singapore) Pte Ltd [2003] 4 SLR 492 (“Northern Elevator”) at [12]. However, the Court of Appeal in Northern Elevator went on to observe that this procedural point was of “limit......

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