The Higher Regional Court Frankfurt (OLG Frankfurt) has recently strengthened the efficiency of parties’ wills embodied in arbitration agreements. In a crucial decision (OLG Frankfurt am Main, 26 Sch 3/13, Ruling, 18 December 2014), the judges have added clarity to the practical problem of how to resolve friction between an increasingly dense net of treaty…

The Inaugural Conference of the European Federation for Investment Law and Arbitration (EFILA) took place on Friday, 23 January 2015, in the Senate House of the Queen Mary University of London. 160 participants ranging from academics, arbitrators, arbitration institutions, companies, lawyers to NGOs reviewed a full day long the EU’s first 5 years of European…

The controversial role of non-disputing parties has been the object of a significant amount of literature. While third party funding was a hot topic hitherto, the so-called amicus curia, and its evolving role, might be back in the spotlight. Since the first ICSID amicus case -the Bechtel case- until today, the rights, interests at stake…

As has been discussed previously on this blog, the recast Brussels Regulation contains a number of important clarifications to the arbitration exception. Paragraph 3 of Recital 12 and Article 73(2) make it clear that the recast Regulation shall not affect the application of the New York Convention (the “Convention”). The recast Regulation should allow a…

A number of decisions of various national courts have dealt with the issue whether a competition law dispute may be referred to arbitration. Although the case law tends to favour a positive answer, it is still an issue that is being continuously brought up in litigation as an easy way out of arbitration clauses. This…

Investment arbitration under investment treaties between EU member states is a hot topic, in particular given the EU Commission’s strong views on the subject: As previously discussed here, the Commission has intervened in arbitrations in support of the position that the arbitral tribunal lacked jurisdiction to hear the dispute. One such matter was Eureko v….

By Alessandro Villani and Manuela Caccialanza One of the more debated issues in the process of the implementation and review of Regulation No. 44/2001 (“Brussels Regulation”) was the general exclusion of arbitration from the matters covered by the Brussels Regulation. The debate about the opportunity to mitigate such exclusion arises from the subsequent difficulty in…

In Part I of my post, the revised “Brussels I” Regulation (Council Regulation (EC) No 44/2001 of 22 December 2000 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters) was discussed in the light of a hypothetical example from international trade and arbitration. This Part 2 strives to outline the…

Regulation (EU) No 1215/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 December 2012 (published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 20 December 2012) implements a new, recast version of the Council Regulation (EC) No 44/2001 of 22 December 2000 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in…

Two major events have taken place recently regarding the situation of Bilateral Investment Treaties concluded between European Member States (“Intra-EU BITs”) and Bilateral Investment Treaties concluded between an European Member State and a State not Member of the EU (“Extra-EU BITs”). The fate of these agreements was surrounded up until now by a veil of…

Investment arbitration under intra-EU investment treaties has been a controversial topic for years. The European Commission has repeatedly expressed the view that arbitration clauses in bilateral investment treaties between EU Member States are in conflict with EU law and therefore inoperative, while arbitral tribunals have, on several occasions, assumed jurisdiction on the basis of such…

With the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty on 1 December 2009, control of foreign direct investment became an exclusive area of EU competence, or such is the view of the European Commission, a view which is not shared by all EU member States. Since that time, the Commission has embarked upon what it…

Following the path of the hotly debated West Tankers decision, in African Fertilizers v BD Shipsnavo, the English Commercial Court held that a declaratory award is enforceable, allowing judgment to be entered on the same terms as the arbitral award. Such an order enables a party to obtain the material benefit of the award and…

On March 15, 2011 the Advocate General (“AG”) issued its opinion on an interesting matter which considers the relationship between EU law, a contract preceding the Republic of Slovakia’s accession into the EU and the Energy Charter Treaty and Investment Arbitration Agreement (essentially, a bilateral investment treaty applicable here). The dispute involves a contract dated…

In the past twenty years the world of investment arbitration has taken the commercial world by storm. There are over 2,750 bilateral investment treaties and almost every one of them has an arbitration provision. Investment arbitration is now a prominent feature of the arbitration landscape. Just as BITs have proliferated in recent years, so too…

The growing success of investment arbitration may collide with the European Commission’s attitude towards intra-EU BITs, as shown recently by a development reported in August 2010 (the IA Reporter, August 5, 2010, Vol. 3, No. 12) regarding the Eureko v. Slovakia arbitration. In this case, Eureko initiated a claim against the Slovak Republic based on…

Art. 207 of the Lisbon Treaty defines the new common commercial policy of the European Union, and states that it shall furthermore relate also to “foreign direct investments”. This provision has the appeal of an outright earthquake, given that the field of foreign investment, and in particular investment treaties, has always been the exclusive realm…

I am grateful to Professor Hess for his comments on my 3 March 2010 blog. It greatly contributes to advancing the debate. However, it also perfectly illustrates the difficulties of a proposition – the total or partial deletion of the arbitration exception in Regulation 44/2001 – that has not been sufficiently thought through. 1. Professor…

Does a blind law professor intend to destroy the benefits of the New York Convention? Reading the post of Alexis Mourre, I was wondering whether I should react to it, as the post refers to my opinion at least incompletely. However, as I’m still convinced that a fair and open discussion is beneficial, I would…

Professor Hess is the author of the chapter of the Heidelberg Report on the interplay between arbitration and the Regulation 44/2001 (“the Regulation”). As such, and quite understandably, he actively promotes the suggestion that the arbitration exception should be deleted from the Regulation. The Heidelberg proposal has been followed by a Green Paper of the…

In holding that “Article 85 of the [EU] Treaty [now article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union – TFEU] constitutes a fundamental provision which is essential for the accomplishment of the tasks entrusted to the Community and, in particular, for the functioning of the internal market”, and that “the provisions…

On 8 July 2009, the French Supreme Court rendered a decision confirming its position that the existence and the validity of an arbitration agreement should be determined primarily in light of the common intent of the parties (Société d’études et représentations navales et industrielles (SOERNI) et autres vs. Société Air Sea Broker limited (ASB), July…

In the recent decision in Youell v La Reunion Aerienne [2009] EWCA Civ 175 the English Court of Appeal applied the ECJ decision in West Tankers and upheld a Commercial Court decision holding that the mere fact that a contract contains an arbitration clause does not deprive the court of jurisdiction under the Brussels Regulation….

Germany has introduced an amendment to its Foreign Trade and Payments Act. It is a direct response to increased activities and acquisitions by sovereign wealth funds (SWFs), as they are often perceived to pursue economic as well as political aims. Despite this origin, the legislation does not only apply to SWFs. Instead, it allows the…