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…

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…

Brazil has been notoriously reluctant to enter into treaties with other States that provide for the protection of investors and investments, viewing them as detrimental to the host State and its national investors. Brazil has no bilateral investment treaties in force, a limited number of its own treaties, named Cooperation and Facilitation Investment Agreements (CFIAs),…

Litigation finance continues expand rapidly on a global basis, including in Latin America. The region’s code-based civil systems generally permit litigation funding and the continued growth in arbitration make it an attractive market for funding. Brazil, as the region’s largest economy, and with a well-developed and sophisticated legal system, is leading the way.  Moreover, local practitioners…

Brazil has recently executed two new Cooperation and Facilitation Investment Agreements (“CFIAs”) with the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia on April 11, 2018; and with the Republic of Suriname on May 2, 2018. These are, respectively, the 7th and the 8th CFIAs that Brazil has executed since 2015 (the former ones were executed with Chile,…

For the past few years, Brazil has gained recognition as an “arbitration-friendly” seat when it comes to the enforcement of foreign arbitral awards. However, last year, in a groundbreaking decision, the Brazilian Superior Court of Justice (in Portuguese, “Superior Tribunal de Justiça” or “STJ”) denied recognition of two US arbitral awards. Abengoa has appealed from…

This post summarises the key features of the Rio de Janeiro State Decree No. 46.245/2018, which regulates arbitrations between state-owned entities and private corporations and came into force on February 20, 2018. As a brief introduction, and to provide context of the enactment of the referred statute, it is relevant to set forth three pieces…

In the past decade, the legal landscape in Brazil has changed significantly to better accommodate alternative dispute resolution methods, including mediation, conciliation, and arbitration. Brazil recently revised its Civil Procedure Code (Law 13.105/2015) and its arbitration law (Law 13.129/2015). It also enacted a mediation law (Law No. 13.140/2015). These major pieces of legislation contain provisions…

This post covers the main topics broached in my lecture given in Oxford, in the Conference “II Oxford Symposium on Comparative International Commercial Arbitration”, which took place on November 20, 2017. The question is: are arbitrators bound by precedents or by a clear line of case law, when parties have decided, in the arbitration agreement, that…

There is no doubt that Brazil is recognized world-wide as one of the most pro-arbitration nations. Brazilian law regulating arbitration is quite innovative, especially after its reform in 2015, which instated clear provisions on relevant topics such as interim measures, the effects of arbitration agreements contained in a company’s bylaws before its shareholders, and arbitration…

For a long time, Brazil remained one of the few main economies without foreign investment agreements – in the 1990s, 14 Bilateral Investment Treaties (“BITs”) were signed, but never ratified. This landscape began to change in 2015, with the emergence of the model Agreement on Cooperation and Facilitation of Investments (“ACFI”), promoted by the Brazilian…

A provision enacted in 2016 seems to have created a revolutionary change in Brazil’s approach to arbitration involving State parties. It is well-known that Brazil is not a party to the Washington Convention of 1965 nor of any ratified BIT (Bilateral Investment Treaty). The country has relied on commercial arbitration to resolve disputes with State…

Much Ado About India’s Protectionist Model BIT The last week of November 2016 was an eventful and rather paradoxical week for India. While India and Brazil successfully concluded negotiations for a new Bilateral Investment Treaty (“BIT”), the India-Netherlands BIT expired. India has spent the past year refurbishing its investment agreements. According to UNCTAD, India is…

  On 15 September 2016, the Superior Justice Tribunal (“STJ” for its Brazilian acronym) of Brazil, in the case “Odontologia Noroeste LTDA v. GOU – Grupo Odontologico Unificado Franchising LTDA (REsp. N° 1.602.076 – SP)”, affirmed the invalidity of an arbitration clause contained in a franchising agreement based on its pathology for not complying with…

In the last fifteen years, the use of arbitration as an alternative dispute resolution method has grown in Brazil. Not only has the arbitration law been declared constitutional, but also parties have continuously provided arbitration clauses in their contracts, and national courts have issued rulings recognizing the jurisdiction of arbitrators and their power to “state”…

On 22 September 2016, the 1st Instance Court of Jundiaí – São Paulo dismissed a claim under Article 485, VII of the New Brazilian Civil Procedure Code (NBCPC) finding that the court lacked jurisdiction over disputes arising out of a distribution agreement which provided for disputes to be resolved by arbitration. Pursuant to Article 485,…

Arbitration in Brazil has come a long way since the passing of the Brazilian Arbitration Act in 1996 (the “BAA”). The BAA has its origins in the UNCITRAL Model Law and even though it preceded Brazil’s ratification of the New York Convention by six years, the BAA is consistent with the New York Convention, at…

In December 2015, the Brazilian Judiciary faced, for the first time, the question as to whether a foreign arbitral award annulled by the Judiciary at the arbitration seat could be granted recognition. Specifically, in EDF International S/A v. Endesa LatinoAmérica S/A & YPF S/A (SEC No. 5.782/AR), the EDF International S/A corporation (“EDFI”) commenced arbitration…

2015 has witnessed numerous interesting legal developments in the field of international arbitration in Latin America, although these have been wide-ranging in nature and have not always followed the same path. While some jurisdictions have taken legislative steps to introduce or consolidate pro-arbitration legislation in accordance with internationally accepted standards, others, perhaps influenced by negative…

In 1996, when the Brazilian Arbitration Act (“BAA”) came into force, the New York Convention (“NYC”) was still facing considerable resistance from the Brazilian Executive and Legislative branches. At that time, there were few indications that the NYC would be ratified in the near future. This is why the draftsmen of the bill (a bill…

and Rômulo Greff Mariani, Souto Correa Cesa Lummertz & Amaral Advogados The enforceability of arbitration clauses in the bylaws of companies set up under Brazilian law has long been a source of controversy. The topic is now in the spotlight with the notorious In Re Petrobras Securities Litigation, a class action filed before the US…

On May 26, 2015, the law containing the amendments to the Brazilian Arbitration Act (BAA) was finally enacted (Law n. 13,129/2015), almost 20 years after the publication of the BAA. It will soon enter into force, on 27 July 2015. Though Law n. 13.129/15 amended certain provisions of the BAA and introduced some innovations, it…

On 27 July 2015 the Bill amending to the Brazilian Arbitration Law will come into force, introducing significant changes in the arbitration legal framework, which, according to the stated purpose of the amendments, aim at improving the original Brazilian Arbitration Law, enacted in 1996. The amendments attempt to consolidate established practices as well as settling…

On May 26, 2015, Brazil signed its third investment treaty of 2015 with Mexico. Given the agreements previously signed with Angola and Mozambique, this certainly comes as a confirmation of a new Brazilian attitude towards the regulation of foreign investment. The instrument mostly follows the same model used for the previous two: a Cooperation and…