Introduction In this year’s Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot (the “2020 Vis Moot”), arbitration practitioners and academics will look in depth at the validity of unilateral option clauses (“UOCs”). UOCs allow one party some element of choice whilst the other party is bound to resolve a dispute in a specific forum. UOCs can…

In a ruling of 11 December 2019 (see Cassation No. 8/2019 (JT) – Al Taena: AF Construction Company LLC (formerly Al Futtaim Carillion – Abu Dhabi LLC v. Power Transmission Gulf), the Dubai-DIFC Joint Judicial Tribunal, also commonly known as the “Judicial Tribunal” or simply the “JT”, was required to deal with the conflicting jurisdiction…

In the recently rendered Oded Besserglik v Mozambique award (“Award”), after 5 years of proceedings and millions in costs and expenses, a tribunal accepted a Motion to Dismiss and declined jurisdiction over the dispute for the relevant treaty never entered into force. Despite the fact that Mozambique prevailed on its motion, this case raises several…

Section 29A was inserted, by way of amendments to the Indian Arbitration and Conciliation Act (the Act), in the year 2015. With the introduction of this provision, the time-period for passing the award has been fixed at twelve months from the date the arbitral tribunal enters upon reference and is extendable by another six months…

Introduction There have been three main long-standing controversies concerning arbitration in Egypt. First, interest rates and whether they are truly part of Egyptian substantive public policy. Second, whether the ministerial approval for conclusion of arbitration agreements in administrative contracts should in fact be considered of Egyptian procedural public policy. Third, the challenge of arbitrators in…

One of David Guetta’s most famous songs is “When Love Takes Over”. Recent weeks have shown him that insolvency can also “take over”. The Commercial Court in Santander (Spain) ruled recently that an arbitration agreement signed by the agents of David Guetta ceased to produce effects due to the insolvency of the counterparty, the Spanish…

Introduction There have, more recently, been a number of views on the proper scope of the jurisdiction of the Abu Dhabi Global Market (“ADGM”) as an arbitral seat. According to one view, there are no limitations to the scope of arbitration in the ADGM, according to another, more cautious view, arbitration in the ADGM requires…

Art 16(3) of the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration (“Model Law”) provides that if a tribunal issues a preliminary ruling that it has jurisdiction, a respondent may appeal the tribunal’s ruling to the relevant court within 30 days. Can a party who loses a jurisdictional challenge still set aside the final award for…

Introduction In March 2019 China’s Tianjin 1st Intermediate Court (“Tianjin Court”) rendered a decision dated 4 March 2019 (2018 Jin-01-Xie-Wai-Ren No. 1), granting an application for recognition and enforcement of a foreign arbitral award rendered by a sole arbitrator under the rules of the Korean Commercial Arbitration Board (“KCAB”). The decision reflects an increasing trend of…

Introduction The Abu Dhabi Global Market (“ADGM”) is a financial free zone in the United Arab Emirates. Foreign parties are attracted to the ADGM for a number of reasons, including its direct application of English common law, the ability to use English language to conduct proceedings in the ADGM Courts, and its enhanced adoption of…

Introduction Unilateral option clauses (also known as “asymmetric” or “one-sided” clauses) are clauses which give both parties the right to refer disputes to a particular dispute resolution forum, but which simultaneously give one party an exclusive right to elect to refer a particular dispute to another forum. The classic example of a one-sided clause is…

A 2018 study commissioned by the European Parliament’s Committee on Legal Affairs concluded that the EU should seek to establish a “European Commercial Court” at the level of the EU to provide commercial parties with an alternative to both the courts of the Member States and international commercial arbitration. This recommendation echoes the global competition…

The different approaches to arbitration between courts in Australia and Singapore have been illustrated in two cases in the last 2 years – KVC Rice Intertrade Co Ltd v Asian Mineral Resources Pte Ltd [2017] SGHC 32 and Hursdman v Ekactrm Solutions Pty Ltd [2018] SASC 112. The Singapore approach typified by KVC is to…

In a conventional investment dispute, the claimant seeks compensation for the impairment of its substantive investment in the territory of the host state. Swissbourgh Diamond Mines (Pty) Ltd v Lesotho arose out of mining investments made by the claimants in Lesotho in the 1990s. However, this arbitral proceeding was not concerned directly with the impairment…

Arbitration in the UAE is governed by the Federal Arbitration Law No. 6 of 2018 (“UAE Arbitration Law”). The UAE Arbitration Law, which entered into force in June 2018, repealed Articles 203 to 218 of the UAE Civil Procedures Law No. 11 of 1992 (“CPC”), which previously governed arbitration in the UAE. Unlike the former…

The Supreme Court of India (“SC”) in its recent decision M/s Lion Engineering Consultants v. State of M.P. & Ors. (“Lion”) has held that a party that had failed to raise a jurisdictional challenge before the arbitral tribunal under Section 16 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (“Act”), would yet be permitted to raise such…

Over the last few years, third-party ownership of soccer players (“TPO”) has become controversial. TPO is a mechanism through which a soccer club assigns a player’s economic rights, including the right to benefit from transfer fees every time the player is transferred to another club, to third-party investors in return for a financial counterpart. Considering…

A key issue that has assumed importance in BIT arbitrations today is the role of state courts vis-à-vis investment tribunals. Two aspects of this issue become particularly relevant when courts are faced with claims of vexatious BIT arbitrations: (i) the law applicable in the court’s supervisory capacity, and (ii) the extent to which courts can…

Investor-state tribunals frequently face allegations of economic crimes, especially in jurisdictions with a weak rule of law. For instance, the largest ever investor–State award of $50 billion in Yukos v Russian Federation, primarily concerned a criminal investigation of alleged tax evasion, fraud and embezzlement by what was then the largest Russian oil company. The tribunal…

Article 16(3) of the Model Law provides in relevant part that, “if the arbitral tribunal rules as a preliminary question that it has jurisdiction, any party may request … the court … to decide the matter”. One question that arises is, to the extent issues of evidence arise, what rules of evidence should the court…

Considering what the Court of Justice of the European Union (“ECJ”) said in its Judgment of 6 March 2018, under Case C‑284/16, widely known as the “Achmea judgment” (“Achmea”), one begs the question: How this should be perceived in practice?  Because, when interpreting EU law not to be compatible with BIT-based dispute resolution, or vice…

This Post analyzes the recent award in Fábrica de Vidrios Los Andes, C.A. & Owens-Illinois de Venezuela, C.A. v. Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela (“Favianca”). This is the first award to rely on Article 72 of the ICSID Convention to decline jurisdiction over a claim filed after Venezuela had noticed it would denounce the ICSID Convention…

Overview On May 1, 2017, the United States Supreme Court issued its unanimous decision in Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela v. Helmerich & Payne Int’l Drilling Co. (137 S.Ct. 1312). In its ruling, the Court addressed the expropriation exception to the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (the “FSIA”). The expropriation exception permits plaintiffs to bring claims in…

The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington has enforced a settlement between a Jones Act seaman and his employer for maintenance and cure payments, pursuant to the 1958 United Nations Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (the “New York Convention”). Castro v. Tri Marine Fish Co., LLC, 2017…