The German Federal Court of Justice (“BGH”) set off a heated debate when it vacated an arbitral award based on the false application of certain sections of the German Competition Act (GWB) on September 27, 2022 (BGH KZB 75/21), conducting a full review of the arbitral award on the merits. German practitioners were concerned that…

There is a debate about whether courts and arbitral tribunals should be involved in the amicable resolution of disputes. Different jurisdictions deal with this issue in different ways. This post considers the approaches taken by courts and tribunals in Germany, England and Wales, and Singapore to examine whether courts or tribunals in these jurisdictions, on…

Is emergency arbitration’s Achilles’ heel? Or the most effective route out? In which scenarios are parties better advised to turn to state courts for interim relief? Will commercial courts become the new kids on the block, offering a better bet than (emergency) arbitrators for cross-border disputes? These were only a few of the questions discussed…

On 14 September 2023, the DIS Autumn Conference “A World Map of Arbitration in the 21st Century – and What to Find in Germany” showcased Germany’s eminent position in the field. While arbitration hubs like Paris and London enjoy widespread renown, Germany, often underappreciated internationally, offers its own legacy and contemporary prowess. As summarised in…

Large cases with detailed, extensive submissions and hundreds, if not thousands, of annexes, often lead to a degree of complexity that is hardly digestible. The handling of such cases, most prominently of delay and disruption claims, therefore poses a challenge to practitioners, experts and arbitrators. Common law jurisdictions have developed a specific way to deal…

Can an arbitration agreement be binding on a party that did not sign it? Generally, an arbitration agreement only binds its signatories. This is a transnational principle, also anchored in the German Constitution. There are, however, widely accepted exceptions. This article examines the extension of arbitration agreements to third parties under the requirements of Sec. 25(1)…

The German Federal Ministry of Justice published a White Paper on the Modernization of German Arbitration Law (unofficially translated by the DIS) on 18 April 2023. Its primary goal is to adapt the law to today’s needs to enhance its efficiency and strengthen Germany’s attractiveness as an arbitration venue. This post details the twelve issues…

The DIS Spring Conference, one of the DIS’s two main annual conferences, attracted over 300 participants and took place in Munich on 3 May 2023 after the traditional Gala Dinner on the eve of the conference. The conference set off with a welcome note by Dr. Rouven F. Bodenheimer (DIS), introducing the theme of the…

Whenever courts annul an arbitral award on the grounds of substantive public policy, there is typically an outcry. Especially amongst arbitrators. And even more when the court analyzes the merits of the award and holds that the arbitral panel incorrectly applied the law. This is exactly what the German Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichsthof, the…

On 1 September 2022, the Higher Regional Court of Cologne (“HRC Cologne”) issued two much-awaited decisions granting the Netherlands’ requests (see our report here) to have the German claimants’, RWE and Uniper, ECT-based ICSID arbitrations declared inadmissible pursuant to section 1032(2) of the German Code of Civil Procedure (“ZPO”) due to their intra-EU nature. As we reported,…

The arbitration world’s most famous ice skater, Claudia Pechstein, has won a stage victory in her long-lasting and widely discussed struggle against the international sports arbitration system. On June 3, the German Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht (BVerfG), Beschluss vom 3.6.2022, 1 BvR 2103/16) sided with Pechstein in her constitutional complaint against a ruling of the…

Germany found itself as the hotseat of the “battle” between EU law and investment arbitration in May 2016 when the Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof) referred questions relating to the compatibility of EU law with the arbitration clause in the Slovakia-Netherlands BIT to the Court of Justice of the European Union (“ECJ”) in Slovakia v….

Frankfurt am Main (“Frankfurt“) – Germany’s No. 1 city for international arbitration – could serve as a cost-effective and safe seat for international disputes. A “safe seat” of arbitration offers a fair, just and cost-efficient dispute resolution mechanism by offering effective arbitral law and practice (see here). The criteria for distinguishing a safe seat of arbitration…

The Achmea saga has taken yet another twist. In a recent communication to the Dutch Parliament, the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate disclosed that it initiated “anti-arbitration” proceedings before the German courts on 11 May 2021 to “avert” two ECT-based ICSID arbitrations brought against it by the German energy companies RWE and Uniper (“Communication”)….

“I want the truth!  … You can’t handle the truth!” – Hollywood’s infamous shouting match in “A Few Good Men” may have forever ruined every client’s expectation of a measured cross-examination. But the struggle to ascertain the truth remains real in international arbitration. Tribunals and counsel frequently face the tough question of what exactly they…

On 3 March 2021, the German Arbitration Institute (DIS) held an online event for the discussion of a proposal for the introduction of third-party notice in the DIS arbitration rules. The proposal comes at a point in time when hundreds of mooties are preparing for this year’s edition of the Willem C. Vis Moot which…

The Higher Regional Court of Frankfurt (OLG Frankfurt) delivered a decision on 16 January 2020 (Judgment) that has sparked interesting reactions to an already open debate in Germany on dissenting opinions (see previously on this Blog, here and here). But this decision also allows for a comparison of how German and Italian arbitration law, both…

For more than a decade, it was evident that anti-suit injunctions are not permitted in the European Union. Recently, however, there have been developments that could signal the beginning of a new dawn. In late 2019, the Higher Regional Court Munich confirmed the first anti-anti-suit injunction in German history. The court prohibited Continental from further…

Swedish state-owned power energy company Vattenfall operated two nuclear power plants located in Brunsbüttel and Krümmel, Germany. Vattenfall owns a 50% interest in the Krümmel plant, and a 66.6% interest in the Brunsbüttel plant. In August 2011, against the backdrop of the nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan, the German Parliament amended the Act on the…

Introduction An emergency by definition is a “sudden serious and dangerous event” that requires “immediate action”. For instance, shareholder A needs to prevent shareholder B from publicizing confidential information that will negatively affect the share price. Shareholder A finds herself in an emergency situation and needs to act immediately. According to a recent decision of…

A one paragraph obiter dictum in an annulment decision rendered by the Frankfurt Higher Regional Court (the “Court”) on 16 January 2020 (26 Sch 14/18) reignited an old debate: are dissenting opinions in German arbitration proceedings permissible? From an international perspective, dissenting opinions in arbitral awards are by no means unusual.  That is why it…

During the last decade, antitrust arbitration has experienced some turbulent times. While many national courts decided against the arbitrability of competition disputes, a handful of them allowed for such proceedings to take place before an arbitral tribunal. Recently, the U.S. Department of Justice has relied on arbitration to resolve an antitrust dispute in the United…

The Frankfurt Court of Appeals (Oberlandesgericht) has recently taken the view that the publication of a dissenting opinion by the minority arbitrator violates the procedural ordre public, thus constituting a reason to set aside the arbitral award pursuant to Section 1059 para. 2 no 2 b) of the German Code of Civil Procedure (Zivilprozessordnung, ZPO).1)To…

On 5 May 2020, which tellingly was the day before the last day in office of the President of the German Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht, BVerfG) Voßkuhle, the Bundesverfassungsgericht rendered its judgment on the constitutionality of the participation of the German Central Bank (Bundesbank) and the German Government in the European Central Bank (ECB)’s programme…