Art. 207 of the Lisbon Treaty defines the new common commercial policy of the European Union, and states that it shall furthermore relate also to “foreign direct investments”. This provision has the appeal of an outright earthquake, given that the field of foreign investment, and in particular investment treaties, has always been the exclusive realm…

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.

I am grateful to Professor Hess for his comments on my 3 March 2010 blog. It greatly contributes to advancing the debate. However, it also perfectly illustrates the difficulties of a proposition – the total or partial deletion of the arbitration exception in Regulation 44/2001 – that has not been sufficiently thought through. 1. Professor…

Does a blind law professor intend to destroy the benefits of the New York Convention? Reading the post of Alexis Mourre, I was wondering whether I should react to it, as the post refers to my opinion at least incompletely. However, as I’m still convinced that a fair and open discussion is beneficial, I would…

Professor Hess is the author of the chapter of the Heidelberg Report on the interplay between arbitration and the Regulation 44/2001 (“the Regulation”). As such, and quite understandably, he actively promotes the suggestion that the arbitration exception should be deleted from the Regulation. The Heidelberg proposal has been followed by a Green Paper of the…

In a decision dated 10 February 2010 (4A_612/2009), the Swiss Federal Tribunal rejected a petition to set aside a November 2009 CAS Award against German speed-skater Claudia Pechstein. The Federal Tribunal took some unusual procedural steps – including foregoing the usual exchange of written pleadings – to speed up the proceedings and to decide the…

As of 1 January 2011, Swiss domestic arbitration proceedings will be governed by Articles 353 et seq. of the new Swiss Code on Civil Procedure (“CCP”). Articles 353 et seq. CCP will replace the Concordat on Arbitration (“Concordat”), currently governing domestic arbitration proceedings. The dichotomy between domestic arbitration and international arbitration will continue to exist,…

In holding that “Article 85 of the [EU] Treaty [now article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union – TFEU] constitutes a fundamental provision which is essential for the accomplishment of the tasks entrusted to the Community and, in particular, for the functioning of the internal market”, and that “the provisions…

On 8 July 2009, the French Supreme Court rendered a decision confirming its position that the existence and the validity of an arbitration agreement should be determined primarily in light of the common intent of the parties (Société d’études et représentations navales et industrielles (SOERNI) et autres vs. Société Air Sea Broker limited (ASB), July…

In a recent decision dated 26 October 2009 (4A_428/2009), the Swiss Federal Tribunal held that a party that enters into a procedural agreement in parallel state court proceedings following unsuccessful compulsory judicial conciliation does not waive its right to arbitration when that party does not proceed on the merits without making any objections.

In two recent decisions, the Swiss Federal Supreme Court rejected petitions for annulment and revision of an arbitral award by the Court of Arbitration for Sport. The decisions highlight the importance of raising new facts in arbitral proceedings without delay and as explicitly as possible.

The seat of an arbitration is a crucial factor. It determines the lex arbitri and the courts with supervisory jurisdiction over the arbitration. The important consequences of the seat require parties to choose the seat carefully. Cases where no seat is chosen by the parties are not uncommon. The English High Court in Shashoua v…

In a decision of 25 August 2009 (4A_160/2009), the Swiss Federal Supreme Court held that where a claimant by piercing the corporate veil can assert a contractual claim against the majority shareholder, all rights and obligations from the respective agreement, including the arbitration clause, become binding on the majority shareholder, thus precluding the jurisdiction of…

On September 9th, 2009, an intriguing editorial penned by Jeffrey Golden, a special US Counsel and global derivatives senior partner at Allen & Overy LLP, appeared on the Financial Times. It was titled “We Need a World Financial Court with Specialist Judges”. The reason why I bring this article to the attention of the readers…

On May 6, 2009, the French Supreme Court rendered a decision relating to the consequences of insolvency proceedings commenced in France against a party to pending international arbitration proceedings (Jean X. v. International Company For Commercial Exchanges (Income), May 6, 2009, Case no. 08-10281). A French company had signed three contracts for the sale of…

Summary In a decision of 6 October 2009 (4A.596/2008), the Swiss Federal Tribunal granted revision of a final international arbitral award that was influenced by fraud. This is the first time since the entry into force of the Federal Statute on the Federal Tribunal in 2007, and only the second time since the entry into…

In a decision of 23 June 2009 (4A_62/2009), the Swiss Federal Supreme Court held that the right to be heard is not violated where an arbitral tribunal bases its decision on a written submission of a third party and the parties to the proceedings had enough time to comment on such written submission.By letter of…

The 9.10.2009 session of the New York Convention subcommittee of the IBA in Madrid saw a lively discussion on the topic of enforcement of annulled arbitral awards. The discussion related to the “Yukos Capital” decision issued by the Amsterdam Court of Appeals in April 2009. The Amsterdam Court of First Instance had previously upheld the…

There is a lingering perception amongst the international arbitration community that English courts tend to be more interventionist in relation to arbitration proceedings and awards compared to some of their continental counterparts. In reality, English courts are much less interventionist than some imagine, despite provisions such as section 69 of the Arbitration Act 1996 which…

In this case, the Swiss Federal Supreme Court decided that the right to be heard (art. 182 para. 3 of the Swiss Federal Act on International Private Law, “PILA”) does not encompass a right of the parties to be specifically heard with regard to the legal qualification of the facts they had introduced into the…

Introduction If a party during arbitral proceedings withdraws its claim and the other party does not exercise its right to request an award in respect of the withdrawn claim, it has been suggested in Swedish legal doctrine that the parties, under certain circumstances, may have implicitly agreed that the arbitration agreement shall cease to be…

In the same arbitration proceedings, the Swiss Federal Supreme Court had to decide twice -albeit based on different grounds – whether facts discovered after the issue of an award (so called “nova”) may entail the amendment of the rendered award. In these decisions the Swiss Federal Supreme Court had the opportunity to restate its rigorous…

I have been reading with interest the ILA’s Final Report and Recommendation on Res Judicata and Arbitration adopted at the 2006 Toronto conference. Recommendation 2 provides that: The conclusive and preclusive effects of arbitral awards in further arbitral proceedings set forth below need not necessarily be governed by national law and may be governed by…