Kicking off our series on efficiency in arbitration, our first article, Efficient Arbitration – Part 1: Metrics sets out our idea of an efficient arbitration: Achieving the best possible outcome with the least amount of resources. A balancing act. A range of tools are available to focus the spending of resources. Resources should be invested,…

This is the first in a series of articles by Schoenherr focusing on efficiency in arbitration. In our series, we will explore various tools which serve to improve the efficiency of any given arbitration and so achieve a favourable outcome without wasting resources. But before exploring those tools we need to determine what efficient arbitration…

Following the entry into force of the new act on arbitration (Act LX of 2017 on Arbitration, the “Act”) this year, the Arbitration Court attached to the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (“HCCI”) adopted its new procedural rules (“Arbitration Rules”) effective and applicable as of 1 February 2018. It was to some degree expected…

Critics of the current investor-state arbitration regime may yet have their best days ahead of them. In the midst of tarnished FTA negotiations and in times of political uncertainty, they have captured a global audience. Their message is disconcerting: Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) is a system designed by and for multinational corporations. It allows faceless…

Historic grandeur, impressive architecture, outstanding cultural offerings, natural beauty and diversity, good value for money, beauty, safety, timelessness… Austria truly has a lot going for itself. Yet, should this still not be enough to tempt arbitration users and practitioners around the globe, the new Arbitration and Mediation Rules of the Vienna International Arbitral Centre (VIAC)…

In late November, the UN Headquarters in Vienna saw the first meeting of Working Group III of the United Nations Commission on International Trade (UNCITRAL). The meeting marked the initiation of a process of analysis and reform – whatever shape it may ultimately take – of the existing Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) regime. At…

The European Commission (“EC”) has recently taken another step in its efforts to replace the traditional investor-state-dispute-settlement (“ISDS”) mechanism which underlies the approximately 1,400 bilateral investment agreements in force between EU Member States and third countries. On 13 September 2017, the EC issued, based on Article 218(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the…

The development of effective instruments for collective redress is a widely discussed topic among European politicians, consumer protectors, legal scholars and dispute resolution lawyers. The professional discourse was recently fuelled by the Volkswagen emission scandal (also referred to as “emissiongate” or “dieselgate”), which, at least in the US, was already subject to collective actions. Another…

For many doing business in Serbia, the local legal framework, including for arbitration, is the great unknown. However, a short introduction to this legal culture should suffice to reveal that when it comes to arbitration-related matters, Serbian laws are not so different from those in countries hosting some of the most popular arbitral seats. In…

On 1 March 2017 the Austrian Supreme Court (Oberster Gerichtshof) ruled on whether potential claims under the Austrian Commercial Agents Act (Handelsvertretergesetz) can be brought before an Austrian court even if the underlying agency agreement contains an arbitration clause and is governed by the laws of New York (OGH 1.3.2017, 5 Ob 72/16y). The judgment…

The Hungarian Parliament recently passed new legislation on arbitration (Act LX of 2017 on Arbitration, the “2017 Act”) that will reform Hungarian arbitration law as of 1 January 2018. The 2017 Act, considering both the shortcomings of the current Hungarian legislation (Act LXXI of 1994 on Arbitration, the “1994 Act”) and the amendment of the…

The numbers are in, and they are encouraging. In the past decade, female arbitrator appointments have more than tripled. Last year alone, arbitral institutions appointed a third more female arbitrators than the year before. Driving this trend is the Equal Representation in Arbitration Pledge (the “Pledge”), a global initiative addressing the gender imbalance in arbitration….

Over the past few decades, alternative dispute resolution (“ADR”) has become the preferred method of conflict management in the commercial world. Contemporary trends in dispute resolution aim at consolidating ADR in this position by finding an appropriate way to enforce settlement agreements resulting from mediation/conciliation or in the course of judicial or arbitral proceedings. A…

The tug-of-war between transparency and confidentiality was a subject of lively discussions at the 2017 Vienna Arbitration Days. Vienna Arbitration Days is Austria’s leading arbitration conference. Every year, it brings together arbitration practitioners and academics from around the world to discuss ADR developments. The presentations and panel discussions are followed by the “World Café”, which…

Having disposed of yet another forest worth of pristine hearing bundles, I wonder: when will arbitration finally go paperless? Gillian Lemaire asked the same question in a 2014 piece called “Where Do We Stand?” She looked at the legal and factual obstacles that paperless arbitrations face. Finding that, in reality, there were few, she proposed…

The decisive underlying reasoning (motifs, Begründung) is, without doubt, an essential part of any arbitral award and as such bears the potential of frustrating parties and arbitrators alike. On the one hand, elaborate reasoning in arbitral awards more often than not comes at the price of long waiting periods for the issuance of the awards,…

Currently, around 190 bilateral investment treaties between EU Member States (“intra-EU BITs”) are still in force. Most of these intra EU-BITs were concluded in the 1990s. Prior to the two enlargement rounds in 2004 and 2007, relatively little attention was paid to the two existing intra-EU BITs. However, after 2004, the status of intra-EU BITs…

Arbitration has long been the favorite of the ADR family. Mediation, however, has established an increasingly relevant position for itself when it comes to resolving (international) commercial disputes quickly, cost-efficiently, and successfully. Efforts to render mediated settlement agreements enforceable persist and will likely further bolster mediation as an independent and, possibly, even superior alternative to…

One of the main advantages of arbitration vis-à-vis state court litigation, is that the parties are free to choose independent and highly specialised experts to decide their cases. Yet, if these experts negligently (or even deliberately) violate the duties that come with the acceptance of the appointment, the issue of liability arises. One may think…

When allocating costs, investment arbitration tribunals apply two principles: a “pay your own way” principle which provides that each party pays its own legal costs and they effectively share the costs of the proceedings, and secondly a “costs follow the event” or “loser pays” principle which provides that the losing party bears the costs of…

The New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (“NYC“) was drafted in the spirit and with the purpose of encouraging arbitration as a dispute resolution mechanism, by providing for the simple and swift international enforcement of arbitral awards. Today, the NYC’s reach is – with the exception of a few…

Time and cost efficiency is the most commonly praised argument in favor of arbitration as opposed to state court litigation. The exchanges within the arbitral community as regards strategies to streamline arbitral proceedings in an effort to increase their efficiency are abundant. The issue, quite apparently, ranks high on the hot topic lists of counsel…

Discussions of arbitrators’ powers have riveted the international arbitration community. Practitioners increasingly face situations where arbitrators seem cautious and reluctant to rule on procedural issues. While such a careful approach may be advisable where arbitrators prudently avoid overstepping their powers, it may, at times, also frustrate parties and practitioners alike. This phenomenon has fostered endeavours…