In June 2020, the Swiss Arbitration Association (ASA) launched its much-awaited Arbitration Toolbox, an online and interactive tool that guides a user through the various stages of an arbitration. Initially the brainchild of former ASA President, Elliott Geisinger, the Toolbox was brought to fruition under the presidency of the current ASA President Felix Dasser. The…

Swiss substantive law allows a debtor to pay a debt in the national currency of the place of payment even though the debt is actually owed in a foreign currency, except for cases where the contract expressly requires fulfillment of the debt in “actual currency” by using the term “actual” or words to that effect…

The economic havoc wreaked by the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in a 10-year high of corporate bankruptcies in the United States in 2020. While bankruptcy levels across Europe have fallen amid the pandemic, a sharp spike in corporate bankruptcies is expected as economic support programs phase out in the coming months. This will increase the…

Independence and impartiality of an arbitrator are sine qua non in an arbitration proceeding. It is for this reason that jurisdictions, all across the globe, have taken significant measures to elaborate on the circumstances that may raise justifiable doubts as to the independence and impartiality of an arbitrator. However, one sphere remained untapped, until recently….

Undoubtedly, the date of 1 June 2021 will remain a milestone for the Swiss (and international) arbitration community. This is the date when (i) the Swiss Chambers’ Arbitration Institution (SCAI) became the Swiss Arbitration Centre (the Centre), and (ii) the revised Swiss Arbitration Rules entered into force (the 2021 Swiss Rules). The 2021 Swiss Rules,…

Among its over 50 decisions on appeals against arbitral awards rendered in 2020, the Swiss Federal Supreme Court (“Supreme Court”) in two decisions yet again addressed a delicate issue on the interaction of human rights and arbitration: can private parties challenge arbitral awards on the basis that the arbitral tribunal violated their human rights under…

This report highlights the most significant arbitration related decisions of the Swiss Federal Supreme Court (the “SFSC”) issued in 2020.   Tribunal’s Jurisdiction – Scope of Arbitration Agreement In 2020, the SFSC issued several decisions on the jurisdiction of an arbitral tribunal and on the determination of the objective (ratione materiae) and subjective (ratione personae)…

On 6 July 2020 the Swiss Federal Tribunal has issued a decision in which it has held that the COVID-19 pandemic does not serve as a sufficient justification to impose virtual hearings in state court proceedings against a party’s will. With a view to field of arbitration, the question thus arises whether the respective reasoning…

The draft bill for the revision of the 12th Chapter of the Swiss Private International Law (“PILA”) was recently approved by the Swiss legislator (as analyzed previously on this blog). Besides permitting the filing of set-aside motions in the English language, the provisions regulating the court assistance have also been revised and adjusted with the…

The revision process of Chapter 12 of the Swiss Private International Law Act (PILA), governing international arbitration in Switzerland, was initiated in 2008 through a parliamentary motion. It led to a general mandate for the Swiss government to “touch up” Swiss international arbitration law with a view to aligning the statutory text with Swiss case…

One of the spillovers from arbitration’s popularity for the resolution of commercial disputes has been a steady increase in the use of arbitration provisions in corporate governance documents such as articles of association (“AoA”) or bylaws. Global public companies such as Royal Dutch Shell plc, Kone Oyj or Petrobras SA are prominent examples of this…

Arbitral awards can be annulled on exhaustive grounds prescribed in the lex arbitri. Under UNCITRAL Model Law Art. 34/2/a/iii an award can be challenged, if arbitrators award differently than the submissions of the parties (ultra or extra petita). In a recent judgment, the Swiss Federal Supreme Court (hereafter “SFSC”) partially annulled an ICC-award on extra petita (4A_294/2019), as the…

On 3 February 2020, the Republic of Seychelles became the 162nd Contracting State of the New York Convention (already followed by Palau as number 163, reported here). The New York Convention thus comes into force for the Seychelles today (Article XII(2) New York Convention). The Cabinet and the National Assembly had approved the accession on…

Like virtually all arbitration laws, the Austrian Arbitration Act is silent on whether the lack of impartiality and independence of an arbitrator may be invoked for the first time in setting aside proceedings in cases where a party becomes aware of the relevant circumstances only after the award was rendered. The Austrian Supreme Court has,…

In 2019, the Swiss Supreme Court (“Supreme Court”) seized two opportunities to confirm and develop its existing case law in relation to the personal scope of arbitration agreements and their possible extension to non-signatories.   Extension to Non-Signatories under the New York Convention In a first decision, ATF 145 III 199, dated 17 April 2019,…

Introduction The lex arbitri of Switzerland is well-known for affording parties maximum autonomy and procedural flexibility. In line with these principles, parties to international arbitration proceedings have the possibility to opt out of the otherwise applicable Chapter 12 of the Swiss Private International Law Act (“PILA”) and to opt into the statutory rules governing Swiss-seated…

On 7-8 June 2019, the ninth (Romanian) National Conference on Commercial Law in Cluj-Napoca was organized by the Department for Company Law and Corporate Governance of the Law Faculty of the University Babeş-Bolyai in Cluj-Napoca (Romania), together with the Center for Commercial Law of the West University of Timişoara (Romania), supported by the Romanian National…

Prof. Dr. Jelena Perović, from the University of Belgrade (Serbia) and Dr. Nataša Hadžimanović, from Gabriel Arbitration (Zurich, Switzerland), launched the Round Table on Arbitration in 2018 as a forum to discuss controversial issues, share experiences and highlight new trends in arbitration. The 2nd Round Table on Arbitration took place in the magnificent rooms of…

Without any doubt, international commercial arbitration found its place in the system of international dispute settlement. Many natural and legal persons choose to solve their disputes via the means of arbitration and in most of the cases arbitration is international in many aspects: Parties are from different countries, arbitrators are of different nationalities, sitting in…

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…

The principle of res judicata is a universal principle recognized by the legal systems of all civilized nations. The res judicata principle should be applied by arbitral tribunals as the arbitral tribunals are alternative to the courts and when an award is enforced it becomes a part of the legal order of the country where…

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…

On 11 January 2017, the Swiss Federal Council issued a draft bill to revise chapter 12 of the Swiss International Private Law Act (“SPILA”) on international arbitration (as well as, to a lesser extent, the Federal Tribunal Act and the Civil Procedure Code (“CPC”)), which was the subject of a previous publication on this blog….

In a decision dated 26 July 2018 and published on 29 August 2018, the Swiss Federal Supreme Court (the “Supreme Court”) dismissed an appeal to set aside an arbitral award as it found that Swiss public policy was not violated by a sole arbitrator’s confirmation of a success fee owed to a Swiss law firm…