Class action suits were introduced in India by the 2013 Companies Act, with the hope that costs of litigation might reduce in comparison to individual cases. However, not a single class action case has been filed in the past five years. This suggests that litigation is currently not serving the interests of shareholders. Given arbitration’s…

The proposed amendments (“Bill”) to the Indian arbitration law may soon get the force of law. The Bill is based on the report (“Report”) of a High Level Committee and suggests several changes which may have far-reaching negative effect.   In my earlier post, it was argued that the Report and the Bill have some…

Party-appointed arbitrators have recently been the subject of much debate in the arbitration community. There are those who see the ability to ‘choose’ an arbitrator as one of the fundamental pillars of arbitration. For others, it is a time- and cost-consuming exercise leading to potential conflicts and an increased likelihood of arbitrator challenges, both of…

The lower house of the Indian Parliament recently passed the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill 2018 (“Bill”) to amend the arbitration law. If also passed by the upper house of Parliament, and upon receiving the President’s assent, this will become a law. It will then come into force when the Government so notifies. The Law…

This post critically examines the recent Supreme Court judgment in TRF Limited vs. Energo Engineering Private Limited where the court held that a person who is ineligible to be appointed as an arbitrator cannot even nominate an arbitrator. This judgment was in the context of a unilateral arbitration clause (“unilateral clause”) in which one party…

(a.k.a why is it always Bill?) To those unfamiliar with this popular Hasbro™ family game, each team has a board with 24 faces on it – the faces vary in colour, shape, gender, facial hair and attire. In the conventional game each side ‘picks their person’ and the other player has to whittle down the…

International arbitration takes a great pride in being flexible, adjustable and thus very responsive to the needs of the parties involved. Indeed, in terms of international arbitration imagination has virtually no limits – nothing really prevents parties to an arbitration agreement from agreeing on an arbitration pursuant to the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules, in the Spanish…

Lundin Tunisia B. V. v. Republic of Tunisia is a case that very little information was (and, in many ways, still is) available about until very recently. In November 2016, excerpts from the award (in French), itself dated December 22, 2015, became available on the ICSID website. The published excerpts give very limited information on…

Professor Pieter Sanders in 1999 famously asked “Quo Vadis Arbitration”? (Where do you go Arbitration?). In the Indian context this question is particularly relevant in light of the ever-fluctuating framework applicable to arbitrations seated in India. In this post, I will deal with one aspect of this inconsistency, namely the question of arbitrability. The Indian…

The Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Act, 2015 was passed by the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha on 17 December 2015 and on 23 December 2015 respectively and received the President’s assent on 31 December 2015. It was notified on 1 January 2016 and is deemed to have come into force on the 23 October 2015….

Background Article 399A included in the Criminal Law of People’s Republic of China, provides for criminal liability to arbitrators for “perversion of law” (Wangfa Zhongcai Zui). The provision has been a Part of the Criminal Law since 2006. However, on 24 June 2015, the Supreme People’s Court (‘SPC’) and the Supreme People’s Procuratorate (SPP) of…

Accentuate Ltd v. ASIGRA Inc. [2009] EWHC 2655; Fern Computer Consultancy Ltd v Intergraph Cadworx & Analysis Solutions Inc [2014] EWHC 2908 (Ch) In 2009, a senior libel judge sitting in the English High Court held that an arbitration agreement was “null and void” or “inoperative” because it purported to apply a foreign law which…

The success of international commercial arbitration as a form of alternative dispute resolution much depends on the extent to which parties may vindicate their rights through the enforcement of any arbitral award. For this reason, to date – consistent with the pro-arbitration approach adopted by courts in many jurisdictions – English commercial court judges have…

In the recent case of OMV Petrom SA v Glencore International AG [2014] EWHC 242 (Comm) (07 February 2014) (“Petrom v Glencore”), the English Commercial Court was faced with the question of whether issues arising and decided in an arbitration should be treated as settled in subsequent court proceedings brought by a non-party to the…

The Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (the “New York Convention”) is given effect in England and Wales through sections 100 to 103 of the Arbitration Act 1996 (the “1996 Act”). As is well known, the beneficiary of an award promulgated by an arbitral tribunal in a state-party to the New…

Arbitration, or tahkim, has long-standing religious and cultural roots in the Middle East. However, there are also a number of differences and tensions between the Western perception of arbitration and certain Islamic legal principles and traditions which form the cornerstone of many Middle Eastern States. As the Middle East becomes more prominent in the global…

Readers of this blog are likely to be familiar with the existence of Bilateral Investment Treaties (“BITs”) and the wealth of arbitral awards made publicly available through the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (“ICSID”). Given the publicity afforded to proceedings under BITs, or multilateral investment treaties such as NAFTA, one might be…

As leading jurisdictions around the world continue to establish national courts dedicated to the oversight of international arbitration issues, one wonders whether this is an idea whose time has come. This issue was previously discussed on this blog in September 2010. Much progress has been made in the intervening years. The most recent jurisdiction to…

On February 6, 2013, Achmea (a Dutch insurer, better known by its former name, Eureko) initiated UNCITRAL arbitration proceedings against the Slovak Republic on the basis of the Agreement on encouragement and reciprocal protection of investments between the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic (the “Netherlands-Slovakia BIT“) [The Agreement on…

On 16 May 2012, the Court of Appeal of England & Wales (“CA”) dismissed an appeal against an anti-suit injunction restraining three insured entities from pursuing proceedings in the Brazilian courts against their insurers (Sulamerica CIA Nacional De Seguros SA v Enesa Engenharia SA [2012] EWCA Civ 638). This is the latest in a series…

A commentary on the OECD Competition Commission conclusions on using arbitration to effectively resolve competition law disputes By Francesca Richmond and Sarah West There has been increasing use of arbitration to resolve disputes involving competition law issues in recent years. However, it is surprising that the number is not even greater given that arbitral processes…

Yograj Infrastructure Ltd. Vs. Ssang Yong Engineering and Construction Co. Ltd. (on 1 September 2011) As reported in this blog, in May 2011 the Supreme Court of India (SCI) moderated the controversial principle it established in 2002 that allowed the Indian courts to intervene in arbitrations held outside of India unless that possibility was expressly…

As I write this blog, a team from CMS has been working hard on the next edition of the CMS Guide to Arbitration. As with the previous edition, the Guide will include chapters on arbitration written by practitioners from across Europe and beyond. It will also identify, as with many arbitration texts, resource material, including…

By Laurence Franc-Menget and Vanina Sucharitkul, Herbert Smith LLP In a decision rendered on 2 November 2011, the Reims Court of Appeal annulled an ICC Award for failure to disclose conflict of interest during proceedings, irrespective of the ICC Rules on challenging arbitrators in the case Avax v. Technimont. This post considers the latest instalment, the…

Videocon Industries Ltd. Vs. Union Of India & Anr. (on 11 May, 2011) The Supreme Court of India (the SCI) recently added to the contentious line of authority beginning with its ruling in Bhatia International v Bulk Trading SA (2002) (4) SCC 105 concerning the power of the Indian courts to intervene in arbitrations held…

The 1981 French Arbitration Law did not contain a provision covering the form or the proof of an international arbitration agreement. The former Article 1499 of the Code of Civil Procedure (“CCP”) indirectly addressed the issue of form by stipulating, in the context of the recognition and enforcement of awards, that the existence of an…

In July this year, the European Commission published its communication “Towards a comprehensive European international investment policy” (COM(2010) 343 final) and a draft Regulation “establishing transitional arrangements for bilateral investment agreements between Member States and third countries” (2010/0197 (COD)). This initiative is based on the still controversial change brought about by the Lisbon Treaty, by…

Paul Hobeck and Christian Stubbe explained that internationally operating companies fear a “surprising interpretation of the term public policy” when it comes to the recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards. Indeed, Russian public policy has been notorious for being unpredictable. Diana V. Tapola concluded in 2006 that “Russian judicial practice is inundated with a…

The “Instant Cost Order” is the practical implementation of a means to address the much discussed issue of (the lack of) cost efficiency in international arbitration. It also tackles the question of how pro-active tribunals should be in order to control party-driven arbitral proceedings. The majority of the costs incurred in an arbitral proceeding does…

Following the controversial land reform programme first introduced by President Robert Mugabe in July 2000, Zimbabwe has found itself in hot water of late, with a number of international disputes being brought by dispossessed farmers against the State. The first of these disputes was mounted at ICSID in 2005 by a group of 13 Dutch…

Can arbitrators be called to give testimony on the arbitral procedure before the court in charge of annulment or enforcement actions? Courts in England and Norway had to tackle this issue and have given a similar answer to this question: arbitrators can be asked to give testimony as to the elements of facts of the…

Having had their wings clipped by the European Court of Justice in West Tankers, the English courts have recently confirmed that there is life in the anti-suit injunction yet. In AES UST-Kamenogorsk Hydropower Plant LLP v UST-Kamenogorsk Hydropower Plant JSC [2010] EWHC 772 (Comm), Burton J granted anti-suit relief to restrain litigation in Kazakhstan even…

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…

Anti-suit injunctions have certainly received their fair share of air time (and some would say more) as a result of the West Tankers debate – about which this blog entry is not. Now that all eyes are on anti-suit injunctions, it is interesting to keep an eye on how the cases post West Tankers pan…

En arbitraje, a pesar de la cada vez mayor armonización a nivel internacional, siguen existiendo muchos temas en los que cada jurisdicción aporta un enfoque distinto, normalmente sobre cuestiones que van más allá del mero ámbito del arbitraje y entran de lleno en el ámbito contractual. Es lo que sucede con los acuerdos de sometimiento…

By Federico Campolieti* and Nicholas Lawn** Introduction In a recent decision related to the ICSID case Perenco Ecuador Limited v. The Republic of Ecuador [1], the Secretary-General of the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague (“PCA”) has upheld a challenge against a leading arbitrator, Judge Charles N. Brower, on the basis that from the…

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…

United States Code Title 28 Section 1782(a) is well-known to practitioners who have participated in international arbitral proceedings involving U.S. parties. The provision governs the judicial assistance U.S. federal courts can provide in foreign discovery. It states, in relevant part, that federal trial courts “of the district in which a person resides or is found…

(AND WHY A RECENT ENGLISH HIGH COURT DECISION REMINDS US THAT A FINAL, BINDING AND CONCLUSIVE AWARD IS NOT NECESSARILY IMMUNE FROM CHALLENGE) Finality is a fundamental characteristic of arbitration and a key factor that attracts many parties to choose arbitration when providing for a contractual dispute resolution mechanism. This is because the ability to…

The Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce (SCC) has recently proposed the inclusion of an “Emergency Arbitrator” procedure in the SCC Rules (see Draft New Rules with Notes). On 18 June 2009, the drafting committee for the Emergency Arbitrator proposal presented the main amendments gathered from the comments of the arbitration community to…

In a judgment dated June 2, 2009, the Singapore Court of Appeal has upheld a “hybrid” arbitration clause which provided that all disputes should be resolved “by arbitration before the Singapore International Arbitration Centre in accordance with the Rules of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce”. In the case of Insigma Technology Co Ltd…

In the recent decision in Youell v La Reunion Aerienne [2009] EWCA Civ 175 the English Court of Appeal applied the ECJ decision in West Tankers and upheld a Commercial Court decision holding that the mere fact that a contract contains an arbitration clause does not deprive the court of jurisdiction under the Brussels Regulation….

Tribunals in investment arbitrations currently impose a fairly consistent set of restrictions to the submissions of amici curiae in proceedings before them, such as short page limits, no access to the arbitral record, etc. The question is whether there are instances where these restrictions need to be tempered.

The relevance of the Supreme Court’s Hall decision in Hall Street Associates, L.L.C. v. Mattel, Inc., 128 S. Ct. 1369 (2008) for the question of whether “manifest disregard of the law” can constitute a ground for vacatur of an arbitral award by a U.S. court has already been addressed in an earlier post to this…

A recent decision of the English High Court (F Ltd v M Ltd [2009] EWHC 275 (TCC)) confirms that the Court may intervene and allow successful challenge of an arbitral award in order to protect parties against the unfair conduct of an arbitration. However, the case also demonstrates that the applicable test (i.e. a serious…