In mid-2020, changes were enacted to the Russian Arbitrazh (Commercial) Procedure Code (“APC”) which established the exclusive jurisdiction of Russian Arbitrazh courts over cases where a Russian party is subject to sanctions or where the dispute has arisen out of sanctions. This raised concerns that sanctioned Russian parties would be able to easily avoid arbitration…

Conflicts of interest between parties and arbitrators are common in arbitration proceedings. However, the academic community has not yet examined whether arbitral institutions may also run into conflicts of interest. This post will deal with this question and also examine measures that can mitigate any such risks of conflicts of interest for arbitral institutions. The…

The Russian 2016 Arbitration Reform (the “Reform”) was a game-changer for both arbitration practitioners and the arbitral institutions. One of the major implications of the Reform was that so-called “corporate” disputes (which definition covers a large number of post-M&A disputes, including those arising out of share purchase agreements and shareholders’ agreements) could now only be…

The dispute between the former owners of the Yukos oil company and the Russian Federation concerning damages of more than US$50 billion is the largest in the history of arbitration. With thousands of pages written on the topic, the dispute has been summarized in earlier posts (see, amongst others, here and here). Following three arbitrations…

On 19 June 2020, the new sanctions-related amendments1)Federal Law No. 171-FZ dated 8 June 2020, introducing the amendments (text in Russian). to the Russian Commercial (Arbitrazh) Procedure Code entered into force. The main objective of the law is to protect the interests of Russian natural and legal persons who are unable to effectively resolve their…

As a result of coronavirus, sanctions, for once, have not been grabbing the headlines. Unlike the media, the Russian legislative bodies have recently shown keen interest in the topic of sanctions as they have adopted a draft law from last year granting persons and companies affected by the sanctions against Russia with a right to…

We live in time when sanctions hit the headlines almost every quarter. Naturally, this frustrates contracts and creates additional causes for disputes. However, there exists uncertainty as to whether sanctions also render awards unenforceable on the grounds of public policy. As will be shown in this post, even within the supreme court of one country…

Introduction On the 18th of February, the Court of Appeal in The Hague reversed the lower court’s decision annulling the awards rendered against the Russian Federation in Veteran Petroleum Ltd., Yukos Universal Ltd. and Hulley Enterprises Ltd. cases. The awards are thus revived. Notwithstanding the global notoriety and public controversy, the identity of the protagonists,…

Overview At the end of 2018, the Presidium of the Russian Supreme Court published its “Review of Cases Related to the Functions of Assistance and Control in Relation to Arbitration and International Commercial Arbitration” (“Review”). The 51-page Review was dedicated to issues that the Russian courts have faced while hearing cases arising from domestic and…

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…

Several authors have already discussed the enforcement of arbitral awards in Russia (see for example the recent posts on the issue estoppel and public policy in recognition and enforcement proceedings, on the confusion relating to the material scope of the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, and on the enforceability of…

Unlike some Western arbitration institutions which enacted institutional arbitration rules dedicated to construction disputes, such as the 2015 American Arbitration Association (AAA) Construction Industry Arbitration Rules, to date, the leading Russian arbitration providers have not developed any specific rules for construction-related disputes. However, such disputes hold rather high positions in the caseload, with a peak…

Since the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation in 2014, a substantial number of investment claims, in particular expropriation claims, have been raised by Ukrainian nationals against the Russian Federation in relation to investments made in Crimea prior to the annexation. In this regard, a fundamental legal issue concerns the applicability of the Agreement…

“May” means “Shall” in Georgia! – this was the telephone message I received on January 18, 2018 from a colleague who had just been informed in the courtroom that the ICC arbitration clause he was relying upon was upheld by the Supreme Court of Georgia. I had been following this case [Supreme Court of Georgia…

The Supreme Court of the Russian Federation recently ruled that initiation of a second arbitration from the same contract violates the principle of legal certainty which forms part of the Russian ordre public (Ruling of the Supreme Court of Russian Federation dated 27.09.2017 docket number N 310-ЭС17-5655, А54-3603/2016). The reasoning of the decision is comparable to the…

The Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, 1958 (New York) celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2018 (“Convention”). Since its inception, 159 Contracting States have joined the Convention. The USSR ratified the Convention on 22 November 1960. The Russian Federation, as a successor of the USSR, continues to be a Contracting State….

In a marked departure from its usual closed-doors policy, the Swiss Federal Supreme Court (the “Supreme Court”) recently held public deliberations in two separate appeal proceedings concerning foreign investment arbitrations. In both cases, a public deliberation by all five judges of the first civil chamber was necessitated due to the lack of unanimity among the…

In February 2018, the Arbitrazh (Commercial) Court of the City of Moscow issued a ruling1) Ruling of the Arbitrazh (Commercial) Court of the City of Moscow dated 8 February 2018, case No. A40-176466/17-83-1232. denying the recognition and enforcement of an ICC award issued in favor of Dredging and Maritime Management SA (Luxembourg) against JSC Inzhtransstroy…

After the 2014 Russian annexation of Crimea, the new local “authorities” have taken a number of privately and state-owned assets in the peninsula.  Ukrainian companies have commenced at least eight investment arbitrations against the Russian Federation under the Russia-Ukraine BIT (the “BIT”), seeking compensation for the lost property in Crimea.1) NJSC Naftogaz of Ukraine et…

A unilateral option clause (“UOC”) can take many forms. It may grant its beneficiary the exclusive right to choose between litigation and arbitration when a dispute arises, or to choose to litigate before a specific jurisdiction, while constraining the non-beneficiary to a specific forum or a specific mode of dispute settlement. Consequently, UOCs are undoubtedly…

The Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (“New York Convention”) has its own scope – it states that it “shall apply to the recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards”. Only decisions made by arbitrators are to be considered “awards” within the meaning of the New York Convention1)UNCITRAL Secretariat Guide on the…

This post navigates the possibility of expanding the protection of a Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) to foreign investments made in the territory of a country, which is partially occupied by the State that is a Contracting Party to that BIT. By taking into account a real-life situation – which may result into an investment arbitration…

Over the last years, European arbitration institutions show the increasing number of arbitration cases involving Russian and other former Soviet Union countries, most of which are members of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Russian parties were second only to local Swedish companies appearing before the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce (SCC)….

In January 2017, the new Rules of the Maritime Arbitration Commission at the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry were adopted (“MAC Rules”). The Rules implement new regulations which comply with the latest tendencies in arbitration. MAC was established in 1930 in Soviet Russia and since then it administered about 4,500 disputes. In 2016 –…