Québec – Arbitrator Need Not Recuse Himself for “Conflict” Created by Party – #845

In Groupe Marsan inc. c. Centre Canadien d’Arbitrage Commercial (CCAC), 2024 QCCS 1838, the Court dismissed the application of Groupe Marsan (“Marsan”), which sought  review of a decision by the Arbitrator, who refused to recuse himself (the “Arbitrator’s Decision”). Concurrent with the ongoing arbitrations, the Arbitrator was also acting as counsel in a parallel proceeding before the Court involving different parties, in which Marsan’s counsel in the arbitrations acted for the opposing party. According to Marsan, this situation raised a reasonable apprehension of bias and the Arbitrator’s refusal to recuse himself violated procedural fairness. The Court found that the Arbitrator rightly concluded that the situation of concurrent representation was created by Marsan’s counsel and that the Arbitrator’s Decision met the standard of procedural fairness.