Last week’s summer quiz on international arbitration and mediation provoked a happy flurry of answers from around the world from a broad range of practitioners. Before we get to the answers, here are some interesting observations from the empirical data that we unintentionally gathered. Conclusive Empirical Data about International Arbitration and Mediation Practitioners (“Practitioners”) As…

If you live or work somewhere in the northern half of the planet, odds are that at some point this summer you’ll find yourself on a beach, cityscape, mountain, or other scenic destination surrounded with children relaxedly drawing on their coloring pads, and grandparents working attentively at their crossword. What about those of us who…

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…

In a landmark provisional judgment in Democratic Republic of the Congo v. FG Hemisphere Associates FACV Nos. 5, 6 & 7 of 2010, the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal (CFA) has held by a majority of 3:2 that absolute sovereign immunity applies in Hong Kong, with no exception for purely commercial transactions or assets….

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…

Will a court injunct arbitral proceedings if parties, before an arbitration hearing, allegedly reach a settlement agreement and a dispute subsequently arises over the existence of such an agreement? Is the tribunal functus? Recently, the Singapore High Court in Doshion Ltd v Sembawang Engineers and Constructors Pte Ltd [2011] SGHC 46 (“Doshion”) rightly held that…

While Russia is a signatory to the New York Convention, there is a perception amongst some practitioners and arbitration users that Russia is not an arbitration friendly jurisdiction. This viewpoint is, no doubt, due to a perceived scepticism of the Russian courts and is the driving force behind many foreign investors doing business in Russia…

On December 1, 2010, an ICSID tribunal composed of Sir Franklin Berman (President), Prof. Emmanuel Gaillard, and J. Christopher Thomas, QC, in Global Trading Resource Corp. and Globex International, Inc. v. Ukraine [Disclosure: White & Case LLP was counsel to Ukraine in this case], became the first tribunal ever to dismiss a case under the…

The 14 July 2010 Award in Saba Fakes v. Turkey (Fakes) is notable because it expressly disapproves of the approach taken by the Tribunal in Phoenix Action v. Czech Republic, which found in its 15 April 2009 Award that good faith and legality are jurisdictional requirements for access to ICSID arbitration. Fakes is a welcome addition to…

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…

In a decision dated 11 February 2010, published on 29 March 2010 (case 4A_444/2009), the Swiss Federal Supreme Court dismissed an appeal against a tribunal’s decision that it had jurisdiction over a request for declaration that damages are owed due to the violation of an arbitration clause. The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal because it…

In the aftermath of the turmoil West Tankers has created in the arbitration community, the Cour de cassation has confirmed France’s reputation as being an arbitration-friendly jurisdiction by holding that anti-suit injunctions are not contrary to international public policy. A French company (In Zone Brands Europe) had entered into an exclusive distribution agreement of beverages…

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…

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…

I am in Australia in advance of the investment law conference at Sydney Law School at the end of the week, and I took advantage of many plane hours to read the docket in the case pending between Ecuador and Chevron/Texaco Petroleum Company (TexPet) in the Southern District of New York. They repay study. In…

On November 30, 2009, an arbitral tribunal issued three interim awards for Yukos Universal Limited, Hulley Limited Enterprises, and Veteran Petroleum Limited v. the Russian Federation under the Energy Charter Treaty (“ECT”). These interim awards addressed the issue of jurisdiction over the Russian Federation, analyzing the Provisional Application under Article 45(1) and (2), labeling the…

The Swiss Parliament is currently contemplating a reinforcement of the negative effect of the “competence-competence” principle in the Swiss legislation. According to a parliamentary initiative, a Swiss court that is seized on the merits and faced with a plea of lack of jurisdiction based on the existence of a valid arbitration agreement should review such…

In my last post I questioned whether investor misconduct (such as fraud, illegality and corruption) is invariably a jurisdictional issue.  This post focuses on the use of admissibility as a filtering mechanism to screen investor claims.  Although it has been suggested by at least one investment treaty tribunal that the concept of admissibility does not…

The treatment of investor misconduct in investment treaty arbitration raises a series of complex issues.  Allegations of investor misconduct (such as fraud, illegality and corruption) can arise in the context of the making of an investment, during its operation, or in the investment treaty claim making process.   How should a tribunal address investor misconduct if…

One aspect of Chinese arbitration law that is of enduring interest to the international arbitration community is the question of whether Chinese law permits non-Chinese arbitration institutions, such as the ICC, to administer arbitrations in China. In practice, a number of arbitrations have taken place and are currently taking place in China under the rules…

The seat of an arbitration is a crucial factor. It determines the lex arbitri and the courts with supervisory jurisdiction over the arbitration. The important consequences of the seat require parties to choose the seat carefully. Cases where no seat is chosen by the parties are not uncommon. The English High Court in Shashoua v…

The Decision on Jurisdiction and Competence (19 June 2009) in Tza Yap Shum v. The Republic of Peru (ICSID Case No. ARB/07/6) is noteworthy as the first publicly available decision involving a claim by a Chinese investor under a Chinese investment treaty. The claim is a tangible reminder of the fact that Chinese investors are…

In one of the most recent NAFTA awards, Glamis Gold v. United States, the United States (“US”) raised objections to the tribunal’s “subject matter jurisdiction” against Glamis’ claims of expropriation under NAFTA Chapter 11. The US argued that the Canadian mining company’s claims based on recently passed California legislation were not “ripe” because the legislative…