The recent Portuguese Voluntary Arbitration Law, which has been in force since 14 March 2012, (English version available here), was received with great enthusiasm amongst the legal community, which claimed for a new arbitration law that could bring to Portugal a regulatory framework closer to the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration. The goal…

Over the past decade, Africa has emerged as a leading center of economic growth. From mining and manufacturing, to banking and telecoms, nearly every industry is witnessing rapid expansion in Africa, driven by both African enterprises and businesses from around the world. Naturally, an increase in international commerce has resulted in an attendant increase in…

The vexed question of the arbitrability vel non of competition law has now reached the shores of the United Arab Emirates. Readers will, of course, be aware that this question has been answered in the affirmative – and most will agree rightly so – in the world’s leading arbitration jurisdictions, in particular in Europe and…

and Stanka Cherkezova With the finals of the Philip C. Jessup and Willem C. Vis Moot approaching it is a good time to spend a few words on oral advocacy and persuasion which are indispensable to moot-courting and real life career as well. A judge from the International Court of Justice once said that he…

If the answer is London, Paris, Geneva, New York, Tokyo and Singapore, what is the question? International cities? Fashion hot spots? Location of Manchester United supporters’ clubs? It may well be the answer to all three questions (although I confess that I have not actually checked the Manchester United one), but they are also the…

In International Research Corp PLC v Lufthansa Systems Asia Pacific Pte Ltd [2012] SGHC 226 (per Chan Seng Onn J) (“International Research”), the Singapore High Court addressed the issue of whether an arbitration clause contained in one contract between two parties binds a third party who subsequently enters into a supplemental agreement with the original…

As its Council Member I attended the ICC Institute of World Business Law’s 32nd annual meeting on ‘Third-Party Funding in International Arbitration’ held in Paris on 26 November 2012. It was a grand success as it drew many professionals, arbitrators, experts, academic specialists and, above all, representatives from some major third-party funding bodies such as…

Arbitration is underpinned by natural justice. Article 18 of the Model Law, enshrining the right of the parties to be treated with equality, and given a full opportunity to present their case, was described by UNCITRAL in 1985 as the “Magna Carta of Arbitral Procedure”. Yet the Model Law does not in Articles 34 and…

By Tai-Heng Cheng* & Lucas Bento** Introduction On October 5th, 2012, a split ICSID tribunal determined that the Republic of Ecuador had breached the US-Ecuador bilateral investment treaty (“BIT”), and awarded damages of US$1.77 billion (US$2.3 billion with interest applied), reportedly the largest award ever to have been issued by an ICSID tribunal. This award…

There are many clients who are often engaged in industrious works that result in disputes. Typically, the applicable arbitral agreements requirement submitting claims to international arbitration and, in this author’s opinion, appropriately so. However, these same clients may also be subject to frequent claim assertions that lack any true merit. Despite this, there is not…

On 14 October 2012, Justice David Williams of the DIFC Court of First Instance (Dubai International Financial Centre) applied a course correction by issuing a decision confirming the jurisdiction of the DIFC Courts to grant a stay in the presence of a valid arbitration agreement providing for a seat of arbitration outside the DIFC. Justice…

A few months ago I wrote a post on this Blog about what I saw as “work left to do” in the Spanish arbitration system. I started with the need to build a regional court of arbitration on a par with those well-known centres in other jurisdictions, with the fundamental aim of taking advantage of…

In its important 2011 decision AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion, the United States Supreme Court sharply limited the grounds on which a court may invalidate an arbitration agreement. A recent ruling by the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, In re Checking Account Overdraft Litigation MDL No. 2036, illustrates how lower courts are…

In a recently published decision dated 6 August 2012 (4A_119/2012), the Swiss Federal Supreme Court confirmed its own jurisprudence according to which state courts facing a jurisdictional defense based on an alleged arbitration agreement must not assess in full the validity of the arbitration agreement. In such cases, the state court must limit itself to a summary examination of whether or not a valid arbitration agreement exists.

The English Court of Appeal’s recent decision in Sulamerica CIA Nacional De Seguros SA v Enesa Engenharia SA [2012] EWCA Civ 638, which is discussed in a recent post by Guy Pendell, underscores an important weakness in the international arbitration system’s legal framework. While everyone accepts that the arbitration agreement is the foundation of an…

During a bitter battle with anti-doping authorities, international cycling champion Lance Armstrong publicly campaigned against the anti-doping arbitration process. Armstrong’s offensive provides insights into widespread misconceptions about arbitration. On 20 August 2012, a U.S. Federal District Court dismissed Armstrong’s petition to enjoin the U.S. Anti Doping Agency (USADA) from further pursuing allegations that he was part…

and Julia Popelysheva, Clifford Chance LLP Introduction On 19 June 2012 the Presidium of the Supreme Arbitrazh Court of the Russian Federation (“SAC RF“) issued a decree (“Decree“) in case No. VAS-1831/12 in which it examined the validity of an optional jurisdictional clause. The full text of the Decree setting out the rationale for the…

As explored in some detail in Part I of this blog post, recent UAE supervisory court case law has heralded a new era of enforcement of international awards in strict compliance with the 1958 New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Awards (the “New York Convention”). To recap, the Maxtel line of…

In recent years, Canada has an enjoyed a reputation as an arbitration-friendly country. This is due to a number of factors, including the incorporation or adaptation of the Model Law into the arbitration legislation at the provincial and federal level, a sophisticated arbitration community well versed in both the common and civil law traditions, and,…

On 17 July 2012, the Privy Council (UKPC 27) passed a landmark judgment of relevance for creditors of States seeking to enforce against the assets of State-owned corporations. The Privy Council held that only in ‘quite extreme circumstances’ would a State-owned corporation (a separate juridical entity formed by the State for commercial or industrial purposes)…

The Permanent Court of Arbitration (“PCA”) has played key role in the resolution of international disputes for well over a hundred years now. Over the past decade, however, the PCA’s importance and activities have significantly increased. Thirty-five investor-state arbitrations under bilateral or multilateral investment treaties or investment laws are currently pending at the PCA, in…

The situation of a truncated arbitral tribunal may be caused by various factors. It may arise when a three-member tribunal during the course of the arbitral proceedings and before the rendering of the award does not remain the same at some point, meaning that one of the members of the tribunal dies, resigns or fails…

On June 25th, 2012 the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, which covers all federal appeals emanating from the states of Florida, Georgia and Alabama, decided that a private commercial arbitration tribunal in Ecuador used by the parties to resolve a commercial dispute is a ‘tribunal’ for purposes of the collection of…