As World Bank protests go, today’s was a pretty mild one. This afternoon, a group of labor and environmental activists huddled outside World Bank headquarters in DC to protest the on-going Pacific Rim v. El Salvador CAFTA arbitration, complete with a giant balloon of a sinister corporate-looking orange cat, an ensemble of guitarists, and panels…

2011 has delivered some significant arbitration developments in Hong Kong, most of which (with some exceptions!) have been undoubtedly positive. So, what were the highlights of the Hong Kong arbitration year – and what challenges might lie ahead? First, Hong Kong’s new Arbitration Ordinance (cap. 609) came into effect on 1 June 2011 (blogged here)….

and Sandrine Giroud, Lalive In a decision issued on 23 November 2011, the Swiss Federal Supreme Court gave some welcome guidance on the rules of immunity applicable to the enforcement of ICSID awards in Switzerland (Decision 5A_681/2011 dated 23 November 2011 – The published decision is redacted but mentions the date of the ICSID award…

The recently published abstracts of LCIA Court decisions on arbitrator challenges between 1996 and 2010 (Arbitration International, vol. 27, no. 3, 2011) make surprisingly interesting reading. They are an important reminder of the types of egregious arbitrator conduct that, while fortunately rare, can give the system a bad name unless promptly corrected. At the same…

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….

International consciousness that India is an arbitration unfriendly jurisdiction has existed for some time now. This feeling owes in part to seemingly interventionist judicial views, in part to the delays that are oft complained of about the Indian judicial system and in part to the lack of infrastructure necessary for any arbitration friendly destination. This…

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…

In a decision dated 20 September 2011, the Swiss Federal Supreme Court held that the arbitration clause contained in a License Agreement for boxing equipment, interpreted by the CAS arbitral tribunal as referring to any dispute related to the said agreement, could equally cover disputes arising out of other related contracts, such as the contract…

A key part of an expert witness’s role involves explaining, in as clear terms as possible, complex accounting, economic and valuation concepts, to arbitration lawyers who may be less familiar with or even daunted by the world of finance. My suspicion is that expert witnesses could do much more to assist the arbitration community in…

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.1)CA Reims, 2 Novembre 2011, n°. 10/02888 This…

On 7 October 2011 the Svea Court of Appeal ruled on whether an arbitral award should be declared invalid or annulled because the dispute – as alleged by the plaintiff – was not arbitrable under the Swedish Arbitration Act.1)Case no. T 6798-10. In finding that the dispute was arbitrable, the Svea Court considered several interesting…

Arbitration practitioners have traditionally had very little illumination into the outcomes, let alone the reasoning, of arbitrator challenge decisions. Few arbitral institutions set out in writing to the parties the reasons for their challenge decisions, and even fewer institutions have made these decisions available to the larger arbitration community. Past posts on this blog have…

Occasional articles, postings, etc come out which discuss the lack of female representation in international arbitration. Perhaps possible reasons are suggested, perhaps only statistics given, but it is still clearly an issue. Beyond talking about it – how can we actually help the situation? In an article from June 2009, Michael Goldhaber noted that in…

In my last blog, I offered praise for the ICDR, ICC and ICSID, for taking a number of important steps over the last few years to control excessive time and costs in international arbitration. Those initiatives already have resulted in measurable reductions in the average duration of cases. But there is more that the leading…

I’m honored to join today the fine ranks of contributors to this blog. For my first two posts, I thought I would offer a progress report of sorts on the critical task of controlling time and costs in international arbitration. This Part 1 focuses on the good news about various institutional reforms by the ICDR,…

Some of the readers of this blog may have missed the Ninth Circuit’s recent decision in Cape Flattery Ltd. v. Titan Maritime LLC, 647 F.3d 914 (9th Cir. 2011)—in which the court addressed the critical question of how a court is to determine whether a dispute is “arbitrable” for purposes of a motion to compel—and…

Two things are currently unfolding in Africa: significant economic progress and profound political transformation. On the economic front, in the last decade, Africa has been one of the fastest growing continents in the world. Indeed, according to the International Monetary Fund, in the next five years, Africa is expected to be the fastest growing continent,…

Is the international litigation gaining strength over international arbitration? Is it true that in-house counsel would rather fight it out in the courts of the country versus dealing with arbitrators who take too long, expensive attorneys in the international arbitration arena and the threat that the country involved will find a way to not recognize…

In an emergency, swift and effective action is required. Yet in international arbitration proceedings, it can take weeks or months to constitute an arbitral tribunal. What options, then, are open to a party in need of urgent interim relief before an arbitral tribunal has been formed? In many circumstances, applying to the national courts of…

One purpose for anti-suit injunctions is to stop parallel proceedings, that is, to stop parties from pursuing litigation or arbitration involving the same parties and the same claims in two different jurisdictions simultaneously. To stop parallel proceedings in arbitration, a party will go to the court at the seat of the arbitration and will ask…

Even when I think I know what I’m doing (be it self-confidence or self-deception), I still find checklists can be useful. Sometimes they can help validate or compare processes with others, but mostly they are good at making sure I haven’t forgotten some critical step. Below is a checklist for when someone – a business…

At the time the General Assembly of the United Nations was deciding to include in the agenda of its fifty-sixth 1)Resolution A/RES/56/83 – 12 Dec. 2001 GA/9998 session the text of the Draft Articles on Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts (The Draft) adopted by the International Law Commission (ILC), the Argentine Republic was…

If it isn’t pleaded, you can’t consider it. That in a nutshell appears to be the holding established recently by the Singapore High Court in Kempinski Hotels SA v PT Prima International Development [2011] SGHC 171 (“Kempinski”). That case saw the setting aside of three related international arbitration awards on the basis that the tribunal…