Arbitration practitioners have traditionally had very little illumination into the outcomes, let alone the reasoning, of arbitrator challenge decisions. Few arbitral institutions set out in writing to the parties the reasons for their challenge decisions, and even fewer institutions have made these decisions available to the larger arbitration community. Past posts on this blog have…

Occasional articles, postings, etc come out which discuss the lack of female representation in international arbitration. Perhaps possible reasons are suggested, perhaps only statistics given, but it is still clearly an issue. Beyond talking about it – how can we actually help the situation? In an article from June 2009, Michael Goldhaber noted that in…

In an emergency, swift and effective action is required. Yet in international arbitration proceedings, it can take weeks or months to constitute an arbitral tribunal. What options, then, are open to a party in need of urgent interim relief before an arbitral tribunal has been formed? In many circumstances, applying to the national courts of…

In its 4 August 2011 Decision on Jurisdiction and Admissibility, the majority of the Tribunal in Abaclat and Others (Case formerly known as Giovanna a Beccara and Others) v. Argentine Republic affirmed that it had jurisdiction to hear the claims of over 60,000 Italian investors against Argentina arising out of Argentina’s default on various sovereign…

The ASA seminar on “Arbitral Institutions under Scrutiny” on 9 September in Zurich yielded some interesting insight in the practice of arbitration institutions, and views of well-known practitioners on the problems faced by modern arbitration systems. After the general introduction from ASA President Michael E. Schneider, Lara Bander and Mehtap Tari Hirt, two post-graduate students…

In keeping with the popular saying that ‘a bad settlement is better than a good lawsuit,’ it is not unusual for parties in an arbitration to suspend the proceedings and explore a settlement. Any arbitrator will understand such a move and assume that the parties know best what works for them to achieve a satisfying…

In this post, we will first deal briefly with the facts in the case of Jivraj v Hashwani and the findings of the first instance judge and the Court of Appeal, which by now would be very familiar to anyone reading this blog. We will then look at the Supreme Court’s judgment ([2011] UKSC 40),…

The escalation of costs and delays in international arbitration and the consequent dissatisfaction of the system’s users have become prime subjects for users of and commentators on international arbitration. An informal study by the Corporate Counsel International Arbitration Group (CCIAG) in 2010 found that every single corporate counsel who was surveyed thought that arbitration ‘takes…

This month marks two interesting developments in arb/med. First, as Kluwer wants you to know, they have added a mediation blog in addition to the arbitration blog. Well, it’s about time. Second, September heralds the much celebrated debut of the ICC’s new “Arbitration and ADR Rules”, at least for people who celebrate such things. As…

The Supreme Court has arrived at what almost all arbitration practitioners and clients will view as the right result in the strange episode of Jivraj v Hashwani. The Supreme Court has unanimously allowed the appeal on the basis that an arbitrator is not an employee of the parties for the purposes of the Employment Equality…

Last week’s summer quiz on international arbitration and mediation provoked a happy flurry of answers from around the world from a broad range of practitioners. Before we get to the answers, here are some interesting observations from the empirical data that we unintentionally gathered. Conclusive Empirical Data about International Arbitration and Mediation Practitioners (“Practitioners”) As…

If you live or work somewhere in the northern half of the planet, odds are that at some point this summer you’ll find yourself on a beach, cityscape, mountain, or other scenic destination surrounded with children relaxedly drawing on their coloring pads, and grandparents working attentively at their crossword. What about those of us who…

CIETAC’s Vice Chairman and Secretary General recently announced at a conference in London that CIETAC may soon permit parties to select arbitrators from outside the CIETAC list. As the CIETAC Rules currently allow parties to appoint off-list only if they have agreed to do so, this announcement suggests that CIETAC may in the future allow…

I write this post on a train on the way home from a seminar held by the Milan Chamber of Arbitration (CAM) to introduce a new rule and guidelines that could be seen as a necessary next step in the trend towards greater efficiency in arbitration. Before commenting on where these new developments might take…

In the current zeitgeist focusing on the need for efficiency and speed in arbitration, we are at risk of over-correcting to the point of diminishing important functions of the arbitral process. There is little doubt that the arbitral process generally has become too much like litigation, and needs to be more efficient and less costly….

One of the key issues that now awaits the decision of the U.K. Supreme Court in Jivraj v. Hashwani is whether there is a contract between the parties and the arbitrators, such that the arbitrators may be considered “employees” of the parties (and thereby subject to the law prohibiting discrimination by employers)? If there is…

It is interesting to see what can happen sometimes during an oral hearing for an arbitral proceeding. I have noted from my esteemed colleagues that they have witnessed a very interesting phenomenon – watch the arbitrators – can you tell who appointed whom? Should you be able to? Having worked for most of my career…

While Russia is a signatory to the New York Convention, there is a perception amongst some practitioners and arbitration users that Russia is not an arbitration friendly jurisdiction. This viewpoint is, no doubt, due to a perceived scepticism of the Russian courts and is the driving force behind many foreign investors doing business in Russia…

Should arbitrators be permitted to serve as mediators of the disputes they might ultimately determine? Instinctive reactions to this question are likely to be coloured by a party’s legal background and cultural expectations. To those from common law traditions, the idea of combining the roles of mediator and arbitrator is rather alien, whereas in civil…

In a landmark decision dated 29 October 2010, published on 19 November 2010 (case 4A_234/2010), the Swiss Federal Tribunal dismissed a motion to set aside a Court of Arbitration for Sport (“CAS”) award based on the alleged impartiality of one of the co-arbitrators. The Court firstly clarified that the independence and impartiality expected from any…

We have all seen it before. The same names, the same faces are chosen consistently to act as arbitrators. Is it bad? No, but it certainly occurs. The same names are respected, experienced professionals that undoubtedly anyone would be grateful to have serve as an arbitrator for their proceedings. However, are there downsides to always…

Everybody who has visited a certain number of arbitration conferences over the last few years has probably heard at least an equal number of contributions relating to costs in arbitration. Similarly, the number of written articles on the topic in legal literature is enormous and entire books are based on the subject. Considering that cost…