Although parties to international transactions frequently agree to arbitrate, they sometimes reconsider that commitment when a dispute arises, and look to challenge the validity of the arbitration agreement. Thanks to the separability presumption, the courts and the tribunals insulate the arbitration agreements from attacks on the underlying contract and uphold arbitration. However, the separability presumption…

Arbitration is often used to avoid the messy processes of national litigation, sometimes involving years of appeals and hearings. But when you want to attach property to support your arbitral award, that itself can result in years-long litigation, as in the case of Stemcor USA, Inc. v. Cia Siderurgica Do Para. The delays in the…

In a landmark decision rendered on May 15, 2019, the Brazilian Superior Court of Justice rejected the argument that transmission of an arbitration agreement via subrogation violated public policy. The Court thus gave full effect in Brazil to a foreign arbitral award resulting from a transmitted arbitration agreement. The decision sets the “law of the…

For the first time, the High Court held in its decision in the Rinehart dispute that the ordinary principles of contractual interpretation must be applied when interpreting the scope of arbitration clauses. While this approach is consistent with modern contractual interpretation, it may deter parties from selecting Australian law to govern arbitration agreements. This post…

What is the meaning of “existence”? While theologians and philosophers continue to debate this endlessly, this metaphysical question has also concerned Indian arbitration law, specifically Section 11(6A) of the Arbitration & Conciliation Act, 1996 (“Act”). It was thought that the scope of a court’s intervention when appointing an arbitrator was solidified via the 2015 Amendment…

In Part I of the post, we discussed the position of law on the “existence” test under Section 11(6A) of the Act. In Part II, we aim to provide context to the developments relating to the provision and understand the larger picture of the judicial trend. But first, on the basis of the decisions discussed…

Introduction In order to conclude an enforceable arbitration agreement, various validity conditions are required. The authority of the signatory agent to conclude an arbitration agreement on behalf of the principal is one of these requirements. In some jurisdictions, an explicit/specific authority is also required. An agent authorized with a general power of attorney, but without…

Introduction Parties to international commercial transactions not infrequently find themselves in disputes over whether a valid arbitration agreement exists between them or whether a court or an arbitral tribunal has the jurisdiction to hear this issue. These situations are especially perplexing because – despite the general international acceptance of the “kompetenz-kompetenz” doctrine – national laws…

In Marty Ltd v Hualon Corporation (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd [2018] SGCA 63, the Singapore Court of Appeal held that an arbitral tribunal had no jurisdiction because the claimant in the arbitration (“Hualon”) had repudiated the arbitration agreement. Of most interest, the decision appears to create a presumption in Singapore law that commencing litigation in breach…

This is an introduction to the so-called “Final Offer Arbitration” (FOA), sometimes also referred to as pendulum or baseball arbitration. FOA is a model of arbitration that originated in the late 1940s and consolidated in the 1970s in the USA to resolve labour disputes in the public sector and the baseball league, hence the name….

The year of 2018 has seen arbitration as a dispute resolution forum in the resource rich continent of Africa pendulum between boosting countries in the region as a seat of arbitration and reinforcing court sovereignty in disputes. The year began with optimism in the wake of the OHADA reforms. In late 2017, the Organization for…

Section 16 (1) of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 [“the Indian Act”] confers power upon the arbitral tribunal to decide on matters relating to its jurisdiction. Under section 16 (5), a decision accepting the plea of lack of jurisdiction shall be an appealable order; while decision rejecting the same plea can be challenged only…

Since the inaugural programme in 2014, arbitration practitioners from the MENA region and beyond have come together to share and discuss recent developments in the field of international arbitration during the Dubai Arbitration Week, an annual event that takes place in November. Dubai Arbitration Week 2018 was no exception. It was full of seminars, conferences,…

Introduction On 10 October 2018, the Singapore Court of Appeal (“Court of Appeal”) issued its decision on the case of Marty Ltd v Hualon Corporation (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd [2018] SGCA 63 (“Marty v Hualon“) which concerned a dispute over the repudiation of an arbitration agreement. While the case contained a number of interesting issues, this…

I. Introduction Despite the fact that commercial arbitration has experienced a huge development in Brazil in the last years and a general favorable approach by Brazilian courts, there are fields in which arbitration is still incipient, with complex discussions about its enforceability and to what extent consumer, labor or adhesion contracts can be discussed via…

In February 2018, the Arbitrazh (Commercial) Court of the City of Moscow issued a ruling denying the recognition and enforcement of an ICC award issued in favor of Dredging and Maritime Management SA (Luxembourg) against JSC Inzhtransstroy (Russia), on grounds that included an alleged unenforceability of the ICC arbitration clause in the contract. The arbitration…

The debate around the ‘extension’ of arbitration agreements has, once again, been placed under the spotlight in Brazil. The Brazilian Superior Court of Justice (‘SCJ’) recently considered the issue in disputes involving groups of contracts between the same parties. The SCJ ruled in favour of the ‘extension’ of the arbitration agreement contained in the main…

In its decision 6 Ob 195/17w dated 17 January 2018, the Austrian Supreme Court decided that the form requirements for an arbitration agreement also apply to the authorisation to an agent to enter into an arbitration agreement (or a contract containing an arbitration agreement). I. Stopping the movement towards a liberalisation of form requirements Austria…

Background on CIETAC Split Up until May 1, 2012 CIETAC had a branch in Shanghai named CIETAC Shanghai Sub-commission (the “Old Sub-commission”). This Old Sub-commission used the same CIETAC arbitration rules but was administered by a secretariat semi-independent of that of the head office of CIETAC in Beijing. On May 1, 2012 CIETAC launched its…

Joint venture agreements increasingly provide for arbitration, allowing the JV partners to resolve matters privately.  Where a director of a JV company (or JV partners) is sued in his capacity as a director in relation to matters arising out of the joint venture agreement, can he also rely on the arbitration agreement in the joint…

On May 21st, 2018, the Supreme Court of the United States in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis (“Epic Systems”) held in a 5-4 majority that one-on-one mandatory arbitration agreements imposed by employers upon their employees must be enforced as written in accordance with the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”). The majority opinion, written by Justice Neil…

This post focuses on two decisions issued by the Venezuelan Supreme Court of Justice in the Corporación LSR case. The decisions constitute an unexpected change in the approach of the Supreme Court towards arbitration, deviating from its latest and vastly commented case law regarding commercial arbitration matters. Background The dispute in Corporación LSR arose out…

Part 1 of this blog argued that courts that are asked to resolve Article 8(1) Model Law disputes should adopt a deferential approach to tribunal competence under both a contextual and purposive interpretation of the Model Law or similar provisions aimed at giving effect to Art II(3) NYC. On this proposed view, such a court…

A crucial issue in arbitration is determining the proper relationship between courts and the arbitration process. In addition to court challenges to preliminary jurisdictional decisions by arbitrators and court applications to annul awards or prevent enforcement, a number of other court actions also raise relationship issues. This blog is concerned with scenarios such as commencement…