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Which Bills survived the 2024 General Election announcement?

May 2024
Antony Smith and Kayleigh Rhodes

Update on the Arbitration Bill – what you need to know now!

The Arbitration Act 1996 (“AA 1996”) applies to arbitrations seated in England, Wales, or Northern Ireland.   Arbitration reportedly contributes over £2.5 billion annually to the British economy and the Arbitration Bill, introduced to Parliament in November 2023, aimed to continue this success[1]. Our earlier article provided more information on the nature of the proposed reforms.

Certain international arbitration laws follow or reflect parts of the AA 1996. Nonetheless, the Bill’s reforms had aimed to modernise and cement London’s reputation as a prime location for the resolution of legal disputes, amidst the threat of growing competition from other global centres. Singapore updated its legislation in 2023 and joined London as the preferred choice of seat according to earlier research from Queen Mary University[2]. Dubai and Sweden updated its legislation in 2018, and similarly Hong Kong in 2022.   The reforms proposed under the Bill therefore sought to address industry comments, build trust in UK arbitration, and generally prevent the UK from stagnating in this space.

The Third Reading of the Bill in the House of Commons had reportedly been scheduled for June 2024.   Following the announcement of the next General Election on 4 July 2024 however, it has transpired that the Bill did not receive Royal Assent as part of the ‘wash up’ process before Parliament was prorogued on 24 May 2024. Consequently, the Bill fell once Parliament was dissolved on 30 May 2024. Should the next UK Government decide to proceed to amend the AA 1996, a new Arbitration Bill would need to be reintroduced to Parliament, followed by an examination process. Despite general industry support for the Bill, and based on available information, it is unknown whether it’s still in the pipeline or indeed when (and in what form) such changes would potentially happen.

Other Bills not progressed?

The Litigation Funding Agreements (Enforceability) Bill, relevant to litigation and third party funding, did not make it through the wash up process either. This had sought to reverse the impact of the Supreme Court’s ruling in R (PACCAR Inc and others) v Competition Appeal Tribunal and others. It was held that litigation funding agreements (“LFAs”), which entitle funders to a percentage of any damages recovered on successful claims, are a form of a damages-based agreement and in order to be enforceable, they should comply with the relevant regulatory regime. The decision led to uncertainty around the enforceability of some pre-existing LFAs, and litigation funders welcomed the Bill’s proposals. Unfortunately Parliament’s website confirms “The 2023-24 session of Parliament ended (prorogued)… and so this bill will make no further progress[3].

The Data Protection and Digital Information Bill, aimed at revising and simplifying the UK’s data protection framework, and effectively replacing the EU data protection regime post-Brexit, was also not progressed[4].

New law to note?

The Leasehold and Freehold Bill was one of the last to receive Royal Assent. Now known as the Leasehold and Freehold Reform Act 2024 (the “Act”), this law aims to improve the rights of residential leaseholders in England and Wales. Recent press attention has primarily been focussed on the introduction of measures effectively making it easier and cheaper for more people to extend their lease, buy or take over freehold, and take over management of their building. The Act will regulate relationships between tenants and landlords, estate management relationships and charges; and require landlords and estate management companies to sign up to a mandatory redress scheme. As a result, the Act could lead to a fundamental shift and potential implications for the future procurement, payment and/or implementation of Facilities Management works or services. Notably, the Act also amends the Building Safety Act 2022 concerning building defects remediation.

[1] Government Press Release, ‘Modernised laws to secure UK as world leader in dispute resolution’, published 22 November 2023 – Modernised laws to secure UK as world leader in dispute resolution – GOV.UK (

[2] Government ‘Arbitration Bill: Fact Sheet’, arbitration-bill-factsheet.pdf (

[3] Litigation Funding Agreements (Enforceability) Bill completes Lords line by line scrutiny – UK Parliament

[4] Lords concludes detailed check of Data Protection and Digital Information Bill – UK Parliament

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