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BALTIMORE-A Maryland Circuit Court judge has ordered an arbitration panel to hear the claims brought by Related Fund Management and Corvex Management LP against CommonWealth REIT. Related and Corvex, whose $2.9-billion offer to buy all outstanding shares of CWH common stock was turned down earlier this spring, had sought a consent solicitation for a vote to remove the Newton, MA-based REIT’s board.

Circuit Court Judge Audrey J.S. Carrion on Wednesday denied Related and Corvex’s motion to stay an arbitration hearing, according to court documents, which also required the two plaintiffs to pay court costs. “The plain fact is that Plaintiffs—two very sophisticated parties, both of which apparently investigated and analyzed CWH’s bylaws prior to purchasing stock in CWH—had actual knowledge of the arbitration bylaws” and therefore assented to them through buying the stock, Carrion wrote. Related and Corvex, both based in New York City, own a total of 9.2% of CWH’s common stock.

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