The doctrine of separability of arbitration agreements recognises that an arbitration clause contained in a broader agreement is separate and valid despite the invalidity of the rest of the agreement. The doctrine also raises a fundamental question: what is the governing law of the separable arbitration agreement as compared to the remainder of the contract…

2020 saw important case law developments concerning the proper law of arbitration agreements, where the seat of the arbitration is in a different jurisdiction from the governing law of the main contract, particularly in the UK. However, various jurisdictions have adopted different approaches to this issue. It remains to be seen which jurisdictions will follow…

Much has been written about the UK Supreme Court’s decision in Enka v Chubb [2020] UKSC 38 (“Enka”) including on the blog. Those familiar with the judgment will know the Supreme Court decision was split 3 – 2 and the majority upheld the Court of Appeal’s decision but on different grounds. These divisions may give…

In its recent decision of 9 October 2020 in Enka Insaat Ve Sanayi AS v OOO “Insurance Company Chubb” & Ors [2020] UKSC 38 (Enka), the UK Supreme Court upheld the decision of the England and Wales Court of Appeal earlier this year restraining Chubb Russia from proceeding with parallel court proceedings in Russia, but…

In the recent ruling of 29 April 2020, the England and Wales Court of Appeal, departing from Sulamérica, has held the seat of arbitration as an implied choice of the law of the arbitration agreement in cases where parties expressly chose the law applicable to the main contract and the seat of arbitration under a…

In BNA v BNB and another [2019] SGCA 84 (“BNA”), the Singapore Court of Appeal overturned the High Court’s ruling and provided authoritative guidance on the applicable principles in determining the proper law of an arbitration agreement. I discussed the High Court’s decision and the factual background in an earlier post. This post unpacks the…

Traditionally, arbitration agreements do not designate the law governing the arbitration agreement. In BCY v BCZ [2016] SGHC 249 (“BCY v. BCZ“), the Singapore High Court clarified the position in relation to the law applicable to the arbitration agreement where such choice is absent. In doing so, the High Court differentiated between the situations where…

Under the Swedish law, when the parties failed to choose the applicable law, their arbitration agreement is governed by the law of the seat of the arbitration, provided that the parties have specified the seat in their agreement. That much is clear. However, when the parties have not stipulated a seat in their agreement, there…

By Justin D’Agostino and Timothy Hughes, Herbert Smith Freehills The Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (“HKIAC“) has amended its Model Clauses in order to include an optional provision that specifies the parties’ choice of law to apply to an arbitration clause. The express designation of a particular law to govern an arbitration clause does not…

A judgment of the European Court of 17 October 2013 (C-184/12) honors gold plated provisions when considered mandatory. Member state courts are allowed to consider their national gold-plating (the practice of implementing rules tougher than the minimum required by the EU) as being of overriding mandatory character. Arbitration clause In 2005, Unamar, a Belgian commercial…

The English Court of Appeal’s recent decision in Sulamerica CIA Nacional De Seguros SA v Enesa Engenharia SA [2012] EWCA Civ 638, which is discussed in a recent post by Guy Pendell, underscores an important weakness in the international arbitration system’s legal framework. While everyone accepts that the arbitration agreement is the foundation of an…