Shamelin Holdings Sdn Bhd v Mohd Anhar Bin Ahmad (trading as ABA Architect) 6MLJ135 (HC) [2006]

Shamelin Holdings Sdn Bhd v Mohd Anhar Bin Ahmad (trading as ABA Architect) 6MLJ135 (HC) [2006]

Shamelin Holdings appointed Mohd Anhar Bin Ahmad to provide professional architectural services for various construction projects by means of an agreement. Three years after the execution of the agreement Mohd Anhar Bin Ahmad terminated his appointment as architect for the projects on the grounds of non-payment of his fees.

The dispute was eventually referred to an arbitrator in relation to bills issued by Mohd Anhar Bin Ahmad for professional services rendered on the projects for Shamelin Holdings. The arbitrator found in favour of Shamelin Holdings and awarded it pre-award interest.

Mohd Anhar Bin Ahmad appealed to the High Court against the arbitrator’s award on the grounds that there were errors in the award which merited the setting aside of the award, and secondly that the arbitrator had no jurisdiction to award pre-award interest.

The High Court decided to dismiss Mohd Anhar Bin Ahmad’s application with costs and allowed Shamelin Holdings’ application. The High Court held that its jurisdiction was limited in that it was not empowered to examine the correctness of the arbitral. The court’s function was not to re-hear the matter, but rather to determine whether there was an error of law on the face of the award. This involved considering whether the arbitrator had properly analyzed the evidence and drawn the appropriate inferences of fact from the evidence.

The High Court held that the arbitrator had the discretion to award pre-award interest. In awarding the interest, the arbitrator was guided by established precedents; the fact that the Arbitration Act 1950 provides for post-award interest did not preclude the grant of pre-award interest.

(No Judgment Available)