On 1 September 2022, the Higher Regional Court of Cologne (“HRC Cologne”) issued two much-awaited decisions granting the Netherlands’ requests (see our report here) to have the German claimants’, RWE and Uniper, ECT-based ICSID arbitrations declared inadmissible pursuant to section 1032(2) of the German Code of Civil Procedure (“ZPO”) due to their intra-EU nature. As we reported,…

The arbitration world’s most famous ice skater, Claudia Pechstein, has won a stage victory in her long-lasting and widely discussed struggle against the international sports arbitration system. On June 3, the German Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht (BVerfG), Beschluss vom 3.6.2022, 1 BvR 2103/16) sided with Pechstein in her constitutional complaint against a ruling of the…

Germany found itself as the hotseat of the “battle” between EU law and investment arbitration in May 2016 when the Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof) referred questions relating to the compatibility of EU law with the arbitration clause in the Slovakia-Netherlands BIT to the Court of Justice of the European Union (“ECJ”) in Slovakia v….

Frankfurt am Main (“Frankfurt“) – Germany’s No. 1 city for international arbitration – could serve as a cost-effective and safe seat for international disputes. A “safe seat” of arbitration offers a fair, just and cost-efficient dispute resolution mechanism by offering effective arbitral law and practice (see here). The criteria for distinguishing a safe seat of arbitration…

The Achmea saga has taken yet another twist. In a recent communication to the Dutch Parliament, the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate disclosed that it initiated “anti-arbitration” proceedings before the German courts on 11 May 2021 to “avert” two ECT-based ICSID arbitrations brought against it by the German energy companies RWE and Uniper (“Communication”)….

“I want the truth!  … You can’t handle the truth!” – Hollywood’s infamous shouting match in “A Few Good Men” may have forever ruined every client’s expectation of a measured cross-examination. But the struggle to ascertain the truth remains real in international arbitration. Tribunals and counsel frequently face the tough question of what exactly they…

On 3 March 2021, the German Arbitration Institute (DIS) held an online event for the discussion of a proposal for the introduction of third-party notice in the DIS arbitration rules. The proposal comes at a point in time when hundreds of mooties are preparing for this year’s edition of the Willem C. Vis Moot which…

The Higher Regional Court of Frankfurt (OLG Frankfurt) delivered a decision on 16 January 2020 (Judgment) that has sparked interesting reactions to an already open debate in Germany on dissenting opinions (see previously on this Blog, here and here). But this decision also allows for a comparison of how German and Italian arbitration law, both…

For more than a decade, it was evident that anti-suit injunctions are not permitted in the European Union. Recently, however, there have been developments that could signal the beginning of a new dawn. In late 2019, the Higher Regional Court Munich confirmed the first anti-anti-suit injunction in German history. The court prohibited Continental from further…

Swedish state-owned power energy company Vattenfall operated two nuclear power plants located in Brunsbüttel and Krümmel, Germany. Vattenfall owns a 50% interest in the Krümmel plant, and a 66.6% interest in the Brunsbüttel plant. In August 2011, against the backdrop of the nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan, the German Parliament amended the Act on the…

Introduction An emergency by definition is a “sudden serious and dangerous event” that requires “immediate action”. For instance, shareholder A needs to prevent shareholder B from publicizing confidential information that will negatively affect the share price. Shareholder A finds herself in an emergency situation and needs to act immediately. According to a recent decision of…

A one paragraph obiter dictum in an annulment decision rendered by the Frankfurt Higher Regional Court (the “Court”) on 16 January 2020 (26 Sch 14/18) reignited an old debate: are dissenting opinions in German arbitration proceedings permissible? From an international perspective, dissenting opinions in arbitral awards are by no means unusual.  That is why it…

During the last decade, antitrust arbitration has experienced some turbulent times. While many national courts decided against the arbitrability of competition disputes, a handful of them allowed for such proceedings to take place before an arbitral tribunal. Recently, the U.S. Department of Justice has relied on arbitration to resolve an antitrust dispute in the United…

The Frankfurt Court of Appeals (Oberlandesgericht) has recently taken the view that the publication of a dissenting opinion by the minority arbitrator violates the procedural ordre public, thus constituting a reason to set aside the arbitral award pursuant to Section 1059 para. 2 no 2 b) of the German Code of Civil Procedure (Zivilprozessordnung, ZPO).1)To…

On 5 May 2020, which tellingly was the day before the last day in office of the President of the German Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht, BVerfG) Voßkuhle, the Bundesverfassungsgericht rendered its judgment on the constitutionality of the participation of the German Central Bank (Bundesbank) and the German Government in the European Central Bank (ECB)’s programme…

As in most jurisdictions, Germany based arbitral tribunals and German state courts assessing challenges to arbitral awards are often confronted with questions regarding the conflict between the parties’ right to be heard and the denial of the parties’ requests for evidence. In recent years, the German Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof – BGH)1)E.g. BGH case…

Goethe’s famous journey along the Italian peninsula left humanity a collection of verses that still make him the most notorious German author worldwide. Amongst others, he expressed his fascination for the country in these few lines: “Do you know the land where lemon blossom grows? / Amid dark leaves the golden orange glows. /A gentle…

Arbitrators and tribunal-appointed experts are at all times obliged to disclose any and all circumstances that might give rise to doubts as to their impartiality and independence. This is one of the most fundamental duties to safeguard the legitimacy of arbitration. Yet, what are the consequences if they fail to do so? This question has…

As the world marched in support of global action on climate change, the German DIS40/below 40 arbitrators’ group showed its support for the cause at a conference on Arbitration and Climate Change on 10 September 2019. After a warm welcome by DIS federal coordinator Jennifer Bryant (Noerr) the conference started off with a panel discussion…

The principle of res judicata is a universal principle recognized by the legal systems of all civilized nations. The res judicata principle should be applied by arbitral tribunals as the arbitral tribunals are alternative to the courts and when an award is enforced it becomes a part of the legal order of the country where…

As worldwide competition amongst arbitral institutions continues, the Europe-based arbitral institutions have, thus far, been able to defend their strong market position. Currently, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), with its base in Paris, continues to stand out globally as the most preferred institution by a significant margin (77%). It is followed by the London…

The Court of Justice of the European Union’s (CJEU) judgment in Slovak Republic v. Achmea B.V. (Achmea) on arbitration under intra-EU BITs has been broadly discussed (on this blog, see e.g. here, here, here, here, here, here and here). Nine months after the Court’s ruling, some tribunals have had the opportunity to react. Food for…

The concept of attorney-client privilege is a unique creation of common-law jurisdictions which has influenced all types of legal regimes over the world. Common-law regimes developed such a concept to curb the wide sphere of document production and discovery in litigation. As the name of the concept entails, it was created as a privilege for…

The new arbitration rules of the German Institution of Arbitration (Deutsche Institution für Schiedsgerichtsbarkeit – “DIS”) will enter into force on 1 March 2018 (“DIS Rules 2018”). It is the first revision of the DIS Rules since the current version was adopted in 1998 (“DIS Rules 1998”). The revision process involved nearly 300 persons sitting…