Answer ... Any party with the legal capacity to enter into a contract or agreement can be a party to an arbitration agreement, including individuals, corporate bodies, partnerships, states, state entities and public authorities. There may, however, be formalities which must be followed when certain types of parties sign an arbitration agreement (eg, who can sign the arbitration agreement in order to bind the party in question).
Answer ... The parties’ general duty is set out in Section 40 of the Arbitration Act, which provides that they are under a duty to “do all things necessary for the proper and expeditious conduct of the arbitral proceedings”, such as “complying without delay with any determination of the tribunal as to procedural or evidential matters, or with any order or directions of the tribunal” and, “where appropriate, taking without delay any necessary steps to obtain a decision of the court on a preliminary question of jurisdiction or law”.
As discussed in question 44, under common law, it is generally accepted that the parties have an implied duty to maintain the confidentiality of the hearing, documents generated and disclosed during the arbitral proceedings and the award, subject to a limited number of exceptions discussed in question 45.
Answer ... The English courts uphold multi-party arbitration agreements and the Arbitration Act expressly identifies situations in which there may be more than two parties to an arbitration agreement (Sections 16(7) and 18(2)).
Where the arbitration agreement or any arbitration rules chosen by the parties do not include an express procedure for the appointment of the tribunal in a multi-party scenario, the Arbitration Act allows for the parties to apply to court to make such appointment or direct the appointment process (Section 18(2)).