The International Bar Association annual conference in Dubai in November put the spotlight on the arbitral regime in Dubai. Several “hot topics” were discussed, including the possibility that counsel representing parties in arbitrations in Dubai would be charged a hefty fee by the Dubai government and the prospect of a new United Arab Emirates (UAE)…

After the 2011 Decree which reformed French arbitration law, the number of countries having arbitration acts expressly providing for the possibility of waiving setting aside proceedings at the seat has increased. In view of the fact that arbitration rules of some institutions provide for a waiver of “any form of recourse” against awards rendered under…

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…

On January 3, 2012 an Ecuador Appeals Court affirmed the $18 billion judgment against Chevron in the long-running battle over environmental damage. (Available in English and the original Spanish here). According to an unofficial English translation of the sixteen page opinion, the Court dismissed all of Chevron’s arguments, including the allegations of fraud. Here is…

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…

Iura novit curia (usually translated as “the court knows the law”) refers to the power and/or obligation of a court to conduct its own legal analysis outside the parties’ pleadings. While there are very few decisions on iura novit curia in the investment treaty arbitration context, a small number of investment treaty arbitral tribunals and…

Conventional wisdom holds that one of the virtues of international arbitration is the ability to blend divergent procedures, generally referring to civil and common law traditions. The IBA Rules of Evidence, for example, seek to strike a balance among different legal cultures. “Harmonization” and “flexibility” are the terms commonly used to refer to this mixing…

It is not unusual for retired judges to serve as arbitrators. But what about sitting judges? A number of European countries permit sitting judges to serve as arbitrators. See Gary B. Born, International Commercial Arbitration 1449 (2009); see, e.g., U.K. Arbitration Act 1996, § 93. In the United States, however, ethics rules generally prohibit judges…

With the release of the Dissenting Opinion in Abaclat v. Agentina, we now have the benefit of a forceful critique of the majority’s decision that the Abaclat Tribunal has jurisdiction to hear the claims of over 60,000 Italian investors against Argentina under the ICSID Convention and the Argentina-Italy BIT.  Professor Georges Abi-Saab’s Dissenting Opinion (the…

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. This post considers the latest instalment, the…

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. In finding that the dispute was arbitrable, the Svea Court considered several interesting issues analyzed below….

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…