On 26 November 2020, the German Federal Supreme Court (Bundesgerichtshof—BGH) intervened in the “disputed” question of the applicability of the CISG to arbitration agreements (I ZR 245/19, para. 28). The Decision—based on the specific factual circumstances of the case and the most-favorable-law provision (Article VII) of the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement…

The recent judgment of the United Kingdom Supreme Court (the UKSC) in Kabab-Ji v Kout Foods (the Kabab-Ji judgment) has reopened issues concerning the differing approaches of English and French courts to determining the law governing arbitration agreements. The Kabab-Ji saga provides a case study on the English-French law divide and has been discussed at…

Conflict of laws issues can have a pivotal effect on the effectiveness of arbitration when state courts are asked to enforce arbitration agreements. Has the approach of Hungarian courts crystalized in the last few years in this respect? Can the contemporary Hungarian judicial practice and the new domestic legislation be characterized as arbitration friendly? This…

Canadian courts are frequently asked to rule upon the effects of arbitration agreements in the context of potential class actions. For example, the Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC”) has upheld arbitration clauses for most, if not all issues, disallowing class action recourse in Dell Computer Corp. v. Union des consommateurs(2007), Rogers Wireless Inc. v. Muroff…

As previously reported, in mid-2020, changes were enacted to the Russian Arbitrazh (Commercial) Procedure Code (“APC”) to establish the exclusive jurisdiction of Russian Arbitrazh courts over cases where a Russian party is subject to sanctions or where the dispute has arisen out of sanctions. This triggered concerns that sanctioned Russian parties would be able to…

In 2021, East and Central Asia witnessed some noteworthy developments in domestic legislation, jurisprudence, and efforts to enhance the standing of arbitral institutions and seats in the region. There have also been developments in trade/investment agreements and investor-State claims in the region. In this post, our East and Central Asian editorial team reviews this progress…

On 27 October 2021, the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom (the Court) issued a judgment in Kabab-Ji SAL v Kout Food Group [2021] UKSC 48. The Court upheld the earlier decision of the Court of Appeal finding that the law applicable to the arbitration agreement was the English choice of law for the whole…

The purpose of a dispute resolution clause is to provide for a process and a forum through which disputes can be resolved efficiently. However, dispute resolution clauses are too often ignored and relegated to the end of contractual negotiations or considered boilerplate provisions without regards to the overall context. Issues may arise from the parties’…

Multi-tiered dispute resolution clauses – which typically require negotiation, mediation, and/or other form(s) of alternative dispute resolution (“ADR”) prior to submitting the dispute to binding arbitration – are ubiquitous, and a standard feature of complex construction contracts. Contrary to their intended function of promoting efficiency and preserving business relationships, as observed by Gary Born, they…

The United States Supreme Court’s June 2020 decision in GE Energy Power Conversion France SAS v. Outokumpu Stainless USA, LLC (“GE Energy“) made clear that, under U.S. law, a non-signatory to an arbitration agreement may invoke equitable estoppel to compel arbitration under Article II(3) of the United Nations Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of…

This blog has previously discussed the illegality of unilateral appointments of sole arbitrators in India. However, a good beginning is only half the battle won.  Before one dwells further, it is important to gauge the Indian position on unilateral appointments.  First, as stated in TRF Ltd. v. Energo Engineering (“TRF”), if the nominated arbitrator is…

The Chinese Arbitration Act (1995) recognizes the principle of competence-competence in Article 20, under which a party challenging the validity of the arbitration agreement may request the relevant arbitration commission to make a decision or apply to the court for a ruling. Ultimately, though, it is the reviewing courts in PR China that shall have…

The Abu Dhabi Court of Cassation in Case No. 922 of 2020 recently considered the requirements that must be satisfied to conclude an arbitration agreement by powers of attorney. The judgment is the latest in a line of authorities confirming that special requirements apply to the formation of arbitration agreements (a courtesy translation of the…

On 21 April 2021, the CIArb’s London Branch hosted its annual Keynote Speech, which was held online this year. In her speech on “The Proper Law of the Arbitration Agreement”, Professor Dr. Maxi Scherer discussed the different approaches taken by jurisdictions worldwide in determining the law governing the arbitration agreement. She further compared those approaches…

On February 28, 2021, the First Chamber of the Costa Rican Supreme Court (“the Court”) confirmed a US$ 23 million ICC award won by Panama-registered Hidroeléctrica San Lorenzo S.A. against Saret de Costa Rica S.A. When it comes to the recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards, Costa Rica is party to relevant international conventions,…

With the coming into force of the 2020 Arbitration Act, Tanzania certainly has the potential to become a go-to place for international arbitration, at least in Eastern Africa. In addition to its favourable geographical location, now the country also has modern arbitration legislation largely based on the well-established and often tested English model. Section 1…

Section 35 of the Indian Stamp Act, 1899, which is similar to Section 14(4) of the English Stamp Act, 1891, provides that, any instrument executed within the country that is unstamped or inadequately stamped, cannot be read in evidence “for any purpose”, barring in criminal proceedings. The provision is widely worded, but, does it preclude…

In a recent High Court case, it was held that a reference in a contract to the “court” did not mean a court at all but meant instead – perhaps alarmingly – arbitration. This decision in Helice Leasing S.A.S. v PT Garuda Indonesia (Persero) TbK [2021] EWHC 99 (Comm) may be a cause of concern…

This report highlights the most significant arbitration related decisions of the Swiss Federal Supreme Court (the “SFSC”) issued in 2020.   Tribunal’s Jurisdiction – Scope of Arbitration Agreement In 2020, the SFSC issued several decisions on the jurisdiction of an arbitral tribunal and on the determination of the objective (ratione materiae) and subjective (ratione personae)…

2020 saw important case law developments concerning the proper law of arbitration agreements, where the seat of the arbitration is in a different jurisdiction from the governing law of the main contract, particularly in the UK. However, various jurisdictions have adopted different approaches to this issue. It remains to be seen which jurisdictions will follow…

In Pakistan, the law governing international arbitrations resulting in a foreign award is the Recognition and Enforcement (Arbitration Agreements and Foreign Arbitral Awards) Act, 2011 (“2011 Act”). To those who are unfamiliar with the 2011 Act, it may come as a surprise that it does not provide any remedy to an applicant challenging the arbitration…

During the last decade, antitrust arbitration has experienced some turbulent times. While many national courts decided against the arbitrability of competition disputes, a handful of them allowed for such proceedings to take place before an arbitral tribunal. Recently, the U.S. Department of Justice has relied on arbitration to resolve an antitrust dispute in the United…

Uber Technologies Inc. v. Heller raises questions on the possibility of third-party funding limiting unconscionable arbitration agreements. This post examines (I) how third-party funding could reduce the amount of unconscionable arbitration clauses and (II) how it could promote more specific criteria for the doctrine of unconscionability. Finally, this post offers some concluding remarks.   I. Third-Party Funding…

In any arbitration, the parties’ choice of seat normally determines the legal regime under which an arbitration is conducted and any award is enforced.1)At the beginning of her career, Tereza was a tribunal secretary to Dr. Jane Willems in her role as sole arbitrator in the arbitration case at hand: Brentwood Industries, Inc. v. Guangdong…