On 23 October, Gary Born participated in a Fireside Chat titled “How to Become a Star in International Arbitration in Five (Easy?) Steps, and is it Still Possible?”. The interview took place in Moscow and was conducted by Sergey Usoskin of Double Bridge Law, and Mikhail Kalinin of Norton Rose Fulbright. It was moderated by Alexandra…

A conference titled ‘International Financial Services and Small States’ was held at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr’s London office on 30-31 January 2017, jointly organised by the firm’s International Arbitration Practice Group and the Centre for Small States, Queen Mary University of London. The conference followed on from the ‘Integration and International Dispute Resolution…

Russia has recently revised its arbitration laws. The key development of the reform is to address the arbitrability of so-called “corporate disputes.” The new laws lift the longstanding ban on arbitrating most types of controversies relating to a Russian company. There is a catch, though: the lawmakers set out mandatory procedural conditions with which any…

Part I of this two-part blog post summarized the recent judgment of the Singapore Court of Appeal (“SGCA” or the “Court”) in Sanum Investments Ltd. v Government of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (“Sanum v Laos”). This Part II provides some comments on that judgment and its significance, including its impact on future Singapore court…

On 29 September 2016, the Singapore Court of Appeal (“SGCA” or the “Court”) released its much-anticipated judgment in Sanum Investments Ltd. v Government of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (“Sanum v Laos”). In a carefully reasoned decision, Singapore’s apex court reversed a decision of the Singapore High Court, which had previously held that an UNCITRAL…

Under Chinese law, disputes may only be submitted to arbitration outside China and/or under the auspices of foreign arbitral institutions if the dispute is “foreign related.” Historically, the Chinese courts have interpreted this requirement narrowly, and they have declined to find that the dispute is “foreign related” if both parties are registered in China, the…

The Singapore International Arbitration Centre (“SIAC”) published a draft of new investment arbitration rules (the “draft SIAC IA Rules”) for public comment on 1 Feb 2016. They will be finalized on 27 May 2016. The draft SIAC IA Rules are a unique hybrid of modern commercial arbitration rules and specialist investment arbitration rules (e.g. the…

by Gary Born, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP Preliminarily, I am delighted to report on the publication, this month, of the Second Edition of International Arbitration: Law and Practice (2d ed. Kluwer 2015).  For readers who are interested in the book, click here. More importantly, I am also delighted to report, in my…

In AKN v ALC [2015] SGCA 18, the Singapore Court of Appeal (“SGCA”) partially allowed a set of three appeals against a High Court decision to set aside a SIAC award. The result of this decision was to effectively allow the setting-aside, but under a more constrained reading of the grounds for challenge under the…

We are pleased to announce the publication of a Model Bilateral Arbitration Treaty for comment by interested governmental, commercial and other parties. Comments can be sent to whbilateral_arbitration_treaty@wilmerhale.com or posted for public review by commenting below. The Model Bilateral Arbitration Treaty (“BAT”) provides a default arbitration mechanism for the resolution of defined international commercial disputes….

The availability of expedited procedures providing for fast-track arbitration is by now commonplace under many modern institutional rules; however, the effectiveness of these mechanisms lies ultimately in enforcement and set-aside proceedings before national courts. In AQZ v ARA, the Singapore High Court recently had to consider, for the first time, a challenge to an award…

As Professor Stacie Strong describes in the conclusion to her impressive work on Class, Mass, and Collective Arbitration in National and International Law, “[t]he last few decades have seen a number of significant shifts in the social, legal, and economic world order, resulting in the increased incidence of large-scale harms in both domestic and cross-border…

and Mitchell Moranis, WilmerHale As discussed recently in this forum, the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties is the prevailing mechanism for the interpretation of investment treaties (Interpreting Investment Treaties, Roberto Castro de Figueiredo, 21 Oct. 2014). The Vienna Convention, however, was adopted in May 1969. According to the ICSID Database of Bilateral Investment…

In the recent case of Pricol v. Johnson Controls (Pricol Limited v. Johnson Controls Enterprises Ltd and Ors, Arbitration Case (Civil) No.30 of 2014), the Supreme Court of India declined to intervene in an international arbitration with the SIAC as appointing authority, upholding the parties’ chosen mechanism in a well-reasoned decision which was marked by…

2013 saw the establishment of Serbia’s first arbitration institution which is not affiliated to the State – Belgrade Arbitration Center (BAC), created under the auspices of the Serbian Arbitration Association, a non-governmental and non-profit association of legal professionals and other individuals interested in arbitration law and promotion of arbitration. BAC is the third arbitral institution…

I have written previously[1] about the preemptive effect of Section 2 of the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”), which provides: A written provision in any maritime transaction or a contract evidencing a transaction involving commerce to settle by arbitration a controversy thereafter arising out of such contract or transaction, or the refusal to perform the whole…

For arbitration geeks, the beach is a challenge – How can you indulge your passion for international arbitration, without (further) outing yourself as a work-alcoholic without a life? I probably can’t help you much, in that category, but one possibility, with two sub-parts, comes to mind. Arbitration history lets you stay focussed on your one…

The Danish Institute of Arbitration (“DIA”) revised its rules effective May 1, 2013, an overhaul from the prior 2008 iteration of its rules that brings the DIA rules into line with those of leading arbitral institutions. As part of these revisions, the DIA has both reorganized the structure of its rules and updated various key…

The Singapore International Arbitration Centre (“SIAC”) has issued new rules that came into force on April 1, 2013. The rules changes are accompanied by new Practice Notes for cases administered by SIAC under its rules and the UNCITRAL rules that also came into force on the same date. While the changes do not reflect a…

This post is a little different… I am in the process of revising my treatise, International Commercial Arbitration (Kluwer 2009), and would like to solicit comments from readers of the Kluwer Arbitration Blog on various chapters of the book. I would be happy to send individual Chapters, in their revised form, to those interested in…

The U.S. Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) provides that a federal district court may vacate an arbitration award, among other reasons, “where there was evident partiality or corruption in the arbitrators.” 9 U.S.C. §10(a). However, as illustrated by a recently decided case in the Southern District of New York, U.S. district courts apply different standards of…

Winter holidays invite fun reading, including good professional reading, that most of the rest of the year forbids. Not exactly beach reads, but the same idea. And, this year, readers from the United States with interests in international arbitration, had their choice among a host of new offerings. Three warrant special mention. First, Professor Bo…

In its important 2011 decision AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion, the United States Supreme Court sharply limited the grounds on which a court may invalidate an arbitration agreement. A recent ruling by the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, In re Checking Account Overdraft Litigation MDL No. 2036, illustrates how lower courts are…

In August 2011, the tribunal in Abaclat and others v Argentina decided (by a majority) that it had jurisdiction over claims brought by approximately 60,000 Italian investors, and that the claims were admissible.[1] The Italian investors claim that Argentina has breached its obligations under the Argentina-Italy bilateral investment treaty (BIT) when it defaulted on and…

The Permanent Court of Arbitration (“PCA”) has played key role in the resolution of international disputes for well over a hundred years now. Over the past decade, however, the PCA’s importance and activities have significantly increased. Thirty-five investor-state arbitrations under bilateral or multilateral investment treaties or investment laws are currently pending at the PCA, in…

A recent decision of the English Commercial Court (Lombard North Central plc & Anor v GATX Corporation [2012] EWHC 1067 (Comm)) has provided some insight and clarification into how the English courts will interpret and implement Section 9(1) of the Arbitration Act 1996. Section 9 is how English law has complied with Article II(3) of…

The United States Supreme Court’s decision in AT&T v. Concepcion last April appeared to signal the demise of class arbitration in the United States. That decision upheld a consumer contract arbitration agreement that waived the consumer’s right to initiate a class action lawsuit or arbitration. In its recent D.R. Horton v. Cuda decision (Case 12-CA-25764),…

When the strong federal policy in favor of honoring arbitration agreements in the U.S. comes into conflict with another strong legal principle, which one should come out on top? The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently illustrated this tension in Kolev v. Euromotors West/The Auto Gallery, 658 F.3d 1024, holding that…

In August 2011, the tribunal in Abaclat and others v Argentina decided (by a majority) that it had jurisdiction over claims brought by approximately 60,000 Italian investors, and that the claims were admissible. The Italian investors claim that Argentina has breached its obligations under the Argentina-Italy bilateral investment treaty (BIT) when it defaulted on and…

Adjudicating contract disputes where it is alleged that the contract has been tainted by bribery, either in its procurement or in its performance, presents difficult issues for arbitrators, as well as for counsel. While the arbitrability of disputes involving allegations of bribery is generally no longer in doubt, a tribunal will still confront a number…

In February 2011, the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari in Stok & Associates, P.A., v. Citibank, N.A, (No. 10-514). The question presented was whether, under the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”), a party should be “required to demonstrate prejudice after the opposing party waived its contractual right to arbitrate by participating in litigation, in order…

On March 22, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit held in Bechtel do Brasil Construções Ltda. v. UEG Araucária Ltda., 638 F.3d 150, that the question whether a claim subject to arbitration was time-barred was for the arbitrator, not the district court, to decide, notwithstanding a New York state law that…

This post addresses the U.S. Supreme Court’s misadventures with class arbitration over the past decade. Those misadventures have resulted in striking confusion and waste of resources by litigants, courts and arbitral institutions. More broadly, the Court’s conflicting and often ill-considered decisions on the subject now threaten to undermine U.S. arbitration law more generally – turning…

The recent decision of the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division (an intermediate state appellate court) in Sojitz Corp. v. Prithvi Information Solutions Ltd., 2011 N.Y. Slip Op. 1741; 2011 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 1709, bolsters New York’s reputation as a jurisdiction friendly to international arbitration. In this case, which involved two non-U.S. parties in…

To paraphrase Professor Henkin’s classic aphorism about international law – most parties respect most international arbitration agreements most of the time. And likewise, the international arbitral process works smoothly for most parties most of the time. Still, pathological cases arise in international arbitration, as in other contexts. Unfortunately, those aberrations command disproportionate attention, sometimes obscuring…

The recent Commercial Court decision of A v B [2010] EWHC 3302 (Comm) (16 December 2010) is notable for two reasons. Firstly, the Commercial Court provided clarification of the requirements for pursuing an application for security under section 70(7) of the Arbitration Act 1996. Secondly, the decision is an indication of how the Supreme Court…

If a national court is called upon, in the context of an application to refer parties to arbitration, to determine whether a valid arbitration agreement exists, how probing should the court’s examination of the existence or validity of the putative agreement be? Judicial authorities in countries that have adopted the UNCITRAL Model Law on International…

The subject of codes of conduct for international arbitration practitioners has received considerable attention of late. On one side of the debate, several proposals for such a code of conduct have been circulated recently – one at the ICCA Congress in Rio de Janeiro, another by the International Law Association (“ILA”) Study Group on the…

In an important contribution to the ongoing debate among courts and commentators regarding the scope of 28 U.S.C. § 1782 – and the first such case related to ICSID proceedings – the D.C. district court recently exercised its discretion to decline a discovery request by Caratube International against the Republic of Kazakhstan. In re Caratube…

Recent legislative developments in Oklahoma, and a few other U.S. states, reflect a growing mistrust of international and foreign law and legal systems. These proposed statutes and constitutional amendments are one aspect of parochial backlash in the United States and elsewhere against developments in international law and dispute resolution over the past decades. There are…

In the past year, there have been several posts (here , here, and here) on the applicability of 28 U.S.C. § 1782 to international arbitration and on the issuance of conflicting judicial opinions on this topic. As reported by Roger Alford in a recent post , a federal district court in the Southern District of…

A defining characteristic of international arbitration is the ability to choose the decision-makers who determine the dispute. The parties’ right to choose their arbitrator is qualified by the requirement that the arbitrator adhere to standards of independence and impartiality. Where the parties consider that the arbitrators do not meet these standards, they can bring a…

In a post last year we considered the English Court of Appeal’s judgment in the case of Dallah Estate and Tourism Holding Company v The Ministry of Religious Affairs, Government of Pakistan [2009] EWCA Civ 755, where the Court of Appeal held that an order giving leave to enforce a French ICC arbitration award was rightly set aside by the High Court as it had been established, pursuant to section 103(2)(b) of the Arbitration Act 1996 (“the Act”), that as a matter of French law the respondent government was not a party to the arbitration agreement. The High Court and Court of Appeal agreed that an application under section 103(2) of the Act required a rehearing of the facts in contention (in Dallah the existence of an arbitration agreement), not just a review of the award.

The English Court of Appeal recently upheld a first instance decision to refuse enforcement of a US$20m New York Convention award in Dallah Estate and Tourism Holding Company v The Ministry of Religious Affairs, Government of Pakistan [2009] EWCA Civ 755, on the basis that the arbitration agreement was ‘not valid’ for the purposes of…

One of the benefits of international commercial arbitration is the ability to resolve disputes between the parties in a single, neutral forum that gives neither party a “home court advantage.” After a dispute arises, however, litigious parties sometimes engage in tactical maneuvering aimed at circumventing the parties’ agreement to arbitrate. A recent US case gives…

For international arbitrations seated in the United States, there has sometimes been a tension between the so-called “American rule” against the shifting of attorneys’ fees and litigation costs to the loser of the proceedings, and the more accepted practice of fee-shifting in international arbitrations as expressed in procedural rules such as the UNCITRAL and LCIA…

The much-awaited decision of the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) in Allianz SpA v. West Tankers Inc, Case C-185/07 in February this year has focused renewed attention on the remedies available to a party confronted with court proceedings commenced in another jurisdiction in breach of an agreement to arbitrate. Now that the possibility of seeking…

The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in Hall Street Associates, L.L.C. v. Mattel, Inc., 128 S. Ct. 1369 (2008) has provoked substantial commentary – as with many Supreme Court decisions regarding arbitration. The Hall Street decision held that the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) did not permit parties contractually to expand the grounds for vacating or…

Just over one week ago, two pieces of anti-arbitration legislation – the Arbitration Fairness Act of 2009 (H. R. 1020) and the Consumer Fairness Act of 2009 (H. R. 991) – were formally introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. Both acts would limit the ability to arbitrate consumer disputes, and the Arbitration Fairness Act…

Like its subject-matter, my book on “International Commercial Arbitration” is intended to be of use and interest to the widest possible audience around the world. It aspires to provide a comprehensive description and analysis of the contemporary constitutional structure, law, practice and policy of international commercial arbitration. It also endeavors to identify prescriptive solutions for…