Even when I think I know what I’m doing (be it self-confidence or self-deception), I still find checklists can be useful. Sometimes they can help validate or compare processes with others, but mostly they are good at making sure I haven’t forgotten some critical step. Below is a checklist for when someone – a business…

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.1)See, for example, Jean-Claude Najar, ‘Inside Out: A User’s Perspective on Challenges in International Arbitration’, Arbitration International, 25 (2009) 515, 517. An informal study by the Corporate…

In a decision dated 14 June 2011 and published on 7 July 2011, the Swiss Federal Supreme Court dismissed an appeal to set aside an arbitral award holding that the right to the appointment of an expert by the tribunal is not violated where the respective request was not made in a timely manner and…

On March 22, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit held in Bechtel do Brasil Construções Ltda. v. UEG Araucária Ltda., 638 F.3d 150, that the question whether a claim subject to arbitration was time-barred was for the arbitrator, not the district court, to decide, notwithstanding a New York state law that…

The Court of Appeal of England and Wales ruled last month that where parties have entered into an arbitration agreement, one party can obtain an anti-suit injunction to prevent the other party from initiating proceedings in a foreign court, even where no arbitration is underway or indeed even contemplated. In AES Ust-Kamenogorsk Hydropower Plant LLP…

There was no shortage of coverage of the recent English Supreme Court case Jivraj v Hashwani, the case concerning whether an arbitration clause was contrary to anti-discrimination legislation applicable to employees. But there was one issue which received little attention before the Supreme Court – whether or not the nature of the relationship between the…

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…

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…

[Editor’s Note: Upon hearing the results of the Vis competition, I invited members of the winning team to do a blog post about their experience. Below are the reflections of the members of the University of Ottawa Vis team on winning the competition.] It’s nice when hard work pays off. It’s even nicer when five…

According to article 7 of the Swiss Private International Law (PILA), if the parties have entered into an arbitration agreement, the Swiss Court before which the action is brought shall decline its jurisdiction unless it finds that the agreement is null and void, inoperative or incapable of being performed. An initiative to amend article 7…

Clear tendencies towards an arbitration-friendly approach have been demonstrated by the Swedish Supreme Court during the latter part of 2010. During this term the Supreme Court has repeatedly taken an arbitration-friendly stance and emphasized that Swedish arbitration law and practice ought to be in line with international best practice in arbitration. Sweden has a long-standing…

The new French arbitration law, published on 14 January 2011, further reinforces Paris’ position as a leading arbitration centre. The new law, which comes thirty years after the previous 1980 law regarding domestic arbitration and the 1981 law dealing with international arbitration, maintains the distinction between domestic and international arbitration. It clarifies and enhances an…

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…

Certain practices are as unwholesome as they are repeated with hard-headed stubbornness that they merit the denomination “worst practice”. A good New Year’s resolution for those engaging in international arbitration would be to pledge to stop engaging in them. I’ll limit myself to throwing stones at my own glass house: the worst practices committed by in-house counsel like myself and the lawyers we appoint.

In two recent decisions, the Singapore High Court reaffirmed its stance on minimal intervention in arbitration proceedings. The two decisions were made against different sets of circumstances but the Court nonetheless abided by its policy of minimal intervention. This posting examines the two recent decisions, in particular, the approach taken by the High Court. In…

International arbitration often involves parties, arbitrators, and counsel from both Common Law and Civil Law traditions, which sometimes creates misinterpretations about how evidence production will occur. The recent São Paulo court opinion determining that an ICC arbitral tribunal should widen the scope of the expert evidence it was considering in a dispute regarding the construction…

Amongst the many issues raised by the now famous Tecnimont case, which we analyzed in our 19 May 2009 blog , was the relevance in setting aside proceedings of institutional rules relating to challenges. The ICC partial award had been quashed by a 12 February 2009 judgment of the Court of Appeal of Paris, because…

A major new survey on international arbitration conducted by Queen Mary University London and sponsored by White & Case revealed several interesting findings on corporate choices concerning international arbitration.* As already reported by Global Arbitration Review, the survey shows “the extent to which the governing law is a driver of choice among those framing arbitration…

As a forensic accountant specializing in the quantification of damages, I listened with keen interest to the various presentations at the recent Swedish Arbitration Days event ‘damages and other relief in international arbitration’. One of the more lively debates centered on whether it is appropriate, as has happened in several well-known treaty cases, to make…

In his April 2010 inaugural lecture as holder of the Michael R. Klein’s Chair at the Miami University, Jan Paulsson advocated a fundamental change in the culture and practice of international commercial arbitration (Moral Hazard in International Arbitration, Miami, 29 April 2010, see also on this blog). In a nutshell, his views can be summarized…

The clearest indication of a shift in the approach of the Russian arbitrazh (commercial) courts* came in April 2010, when the Presidium of Russia’s Supreme Arbitrazh (Commercial) Court issued a precedential decision, holding that interim relief measures may be ordered by Russian arbitrazh courts in aid of foreign arbitration. The ruling has resolved an ongoing…

Is there a duty to arbitrate in good faith? Is there a need for a Code of Ethics in international arbitration? Those are certainly amongst the most important questions for the future development of the law and practice of arbitration. They have been hotly debated in occasion of certain recent and much publicized cases. And…

In a decision dated 8 December 2009, published on 13 June 2010 (case 4A_446/2009, published as 136 III 107), the Swiss Federal Supreme Court held that persons acting as board of directors of a company that subsequently became insolvent cannot rely on an arbitration clause contained in the articles of association of that insolvent company…

In two decisions both dated 11 January 2010, published on 16 April 2010 (cases 4A_256/2009 and 4A_258/2009), the Swiss Federal Supreme Court dismissed two appeals regarding the irregular constitution of an arbitral tribunal by stating that the complainant failed to sufficiently substantiate his allegations. Background In 2006, two ICC arbitrations were initiated. They had the…