Arbitrability is a fundamental concept of arbitration law which gives an answer to a question which dispute can be submitted to arbitration. Traditionally in Russia the non-arbitrability of a dispute was explained through a public policy consideration. In other words, disputes which have or might have a public interest cannot be submitted to arbitration. The…

Not long time ago the Supreme Court of Canada upheld a refusal to grant an enforcement of an US$950,000 award, rendered on 6 September 2002 and issued in favor of the Russian oil company Yugraneft at the International Commercial Arbitration Court at the RF Chamber of Commerce and Industry (“ICAC”). The enforcement application was filed…

Wide interpretation of a non-arbitrability exception may frustrate the purpose of promoting international commercial arbitration. So far, Russian courts have not been able to formulate a clear cut and consistent rule on the arbitrability of disputes with a public element, in particular disputes arising from agreements concluded under public procurement schemes. Russian law as it…

One of the peculiarities of the revised Russian Arbitration Laws of 29 December 2015 (“Laws“), entering into force on 1 September of this year, is an attempt to localize the on-shore settlement of corporate arbitral disputes involving domestic companies. Only an arbitration institution which has adopted, publicized online, and filed special rules for arbitration of…

In some legal systems, a shareholder of a company may act for the company in certain circumstances. When a shareholder is permitted to do so, questions may arise whether the shareholder may invoke (and is bound by) an arbitration clause in the contract. The arbitrability of derivative shareholders’ actions is largely unclear in comparative legal…

For the last several years, Russia has undergone arbitration reform initiated by the President in or around 2013. The reform is aimed at increasing the credibility of this dispute resolution mechanism in Russia and updating the framework regulating domestic and international arbitration by addressing many long known gaps. The latest development occurred on 29 December…

by Anja Havedal Ipp, Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce A year into the sanctions regime, the arbitration community is trying to assess and predict its impact on Russia-related arbitration. Some commentators have drawn somewhat exaggerated conclusions. An October 22 post at the Kluwer Arbitration Blog, for example, talked about Russia’s “seismic shift” toward…

The Russian company law is contained in three main sources: in Chapter 4 of the Russian Civil Code, and two special laws – on joint-stock companies (AOs) of 25.12.1995 and on limited liability companies (OOOs) of 08.02.1998 – both based on the Civil Code. The prevailing part of the company law contained in the Civil…

Co-authored with William Kenny, Intern at HKIAC A View from Inside A foreword by Victor Dumler, Dumler and Partners Law Offices, St Petersburg. Over the last two decades, Russia-related disputes have become a considerable part of “Russia’s export” into Western Europe. Yet, after more than a year living under the sanctions regime, the situation is…

Under sec 1 of the RF Law on International Commercial Arbitration 5338-1 of 07.07.1993, disputes arising from civil, including corporate, relationships may be referred to international commercial arbitration, unless otherwise provided by law. However, there is no such restriction provided. In some cases, such as Novolipetsk Still Mill (NLMK) v. Nikolay Maksimov (Decrees of the…

Financial, trade and political sanctions have long been used by states as a tool of foreign policy. This is no less true today, where high profile sanctions regimes have been imposed against Iran, Myanmar, Sudan, North Korea, and Zimbabwe amongst many others. See, for example, the lists of sanctions maintained by the EU (see here),…

The issue of a unilateral (optional, alternative, hybrid) arbitration clause is highly controversial in commercial arbitration. The approach to these clauses varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. In 2012, the Supreme Arbitration Court of Russia (a state court), in Russian Telephone Company v. Sony Ericsson, declared a unilateral arbitration clause invalid. The decision attracted attention of…

In recent years, Russia has become a frequent respondent in investment treaty matters. This is a new development. There are currently at least ten treaty claims pending against Russia, with a number of other disputes threatened. At the same time, Russia is trying to protect its assets against a large-scale enforcement campaign in Europe and…

In 2013 the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin announced in his annual message to the Council of the Federation: “I would like to attract your attention to one more problem – the mechanisms of commercial dispute resolution are still not as good as the global practice is, and it is necessary to raise…

Introduction and background Vladivostok is often perceived as the ‘capital’ of Russia’s Far East. It is also often portrayed, however, as Moscow’s backward colonial outpost, with few cars on the streets and where the supermarkets’ half-empty shelves offer nothing but Bulgarian pickles and stale bread. This perception is misguided. Russia’s Far East encompasses 36% of…

No doubt that the last three years have been quite busy for the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) and for the Energy Charter Conference. The number of investor-state arbitration cases under Article 26 of the ECT doubled in this time span, going from thirty known cases to sixty-eight (as reported on the website of the Energy…

and Brenda Horrigan and Rebecca Soquier, Herbert Smith Freehills LLP, Shanghai The sanctions arising out of the Ukrainian crisis have led commercial entities to consider their options for resolving current or potential disputes. In this post, we consider the impact of the sanctions against Russia on the future of dispute resolution for Russian entities and…

Numerous commentators have reported on the sanctions war in the past. What remains to see is how the sanctions war affects the Russia-related arbitration geography. On 8 September 2014, the European Union introduced a new set of sanctions on major Russian companies and wealthy individuals. The sanctions came following Russia’s annexation of Crimea and its…

By Resolution of 27 March 2014, the United Nations (UN) General Assembly condemned the violation of Ukraine’s territorial integrity (A/RES/68/262). The Security Council remained, however, powerless to impose against Russia economic sanctions which all UN member States would have had to implement. In the absence of such “multilateral” sanctions, the European Union (EU) and the…

and Julia Popelysheva, Clifford Chance LLP Introduction On 19 June 2012 the Presidium of the Supreme Arbitrazh Court of the Russian Federation (“SAC RF“) issued a decree (“Decree“) in case No. VAS-1831/12 in which it examined the validity of an optional jurisdictional clause. The full text of the Decree setting out the rationale for the…

One of the oft quoted advantages of arbitration is the perceived certainty that the national courts of New York Convention states should enforce an arbitral award unless one of the limited grounds for refusal is met. However, the relationship between national courts and arbitration is far from straightforward. In particular, one notable area where there…

When the Arbitrazh Court of Kemerovo Region in Siberia granted leave to recognize an annulled ICC award in 2011 for the first time, international and domestic commentators rushed to acclaim the new arbitration-friendly attitude of the Russian courts, thus placing Russia ‘into line with a select number of jurisdictions’ (e.g. France and the Netherlands). Some…

Overview of the conference held on February 23 – 24 in London A conference on international dispute resolution involving Russian and CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States; association of former Soviet Republics) companies took place in London last week. The conference was well attended, mainly by major law firms in London and Russia, by Cypriot lawyers…

Over the past few months, Russia’s outgoing Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has been busy campaigning for foreign investment into various industries of the Russian economy. In a nutshell, the thinking behind the new plan for improving the investment climate in Russia is that easing access to strategic industries for foreign investors will do the trick….