The dispute between Gina Rinehart and her children has been widely publicised over the past few years. The dispute has escalated all the way to the High Court, where Mrs Rinehart fought to prevent the “airing” of her family affairs in public courts by requiring all disputes be referred to confidential arbitration.
The High Court handed down its decision on the dispute earlier this week, in which Mrs Rinehart succeeded in having all matters between her and her children referred to confidential dispute resolution by way of arbitration. In doing so, the High Court provided its guidance on the scope of arbitral clauses and the type of disputes that they cover. We consider this guidance in our article. The High Court’s approach reinforces the need for parties to carefully consider what types of disputes they wish to refer to arbitration. If it is established that all disputes should be referred to arbitration (including those regarding the validity of an agreement), it should be made expressly clear from the outset in order to avoid subsequent disputes.