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DIFC Courts Practice Direction No. 2 of 2015: Adopted at Last!

The DIFC Courts Practice Direction No. 2 of 2015 on the Referral of Judgment Payment Disputes to Arbitration (available online on the official website of the DIFC Courts at http://difccourts.ae/difc-courts-practice-direction-no-2-2015-referral-judgment-payment-disputes-arbitration/) was finally adopted on 16 February 2015 and is now in full force. For conceptual accuracy, the more appealing title of “Practice Direction on the Conversion of DIFC Court Judgments into DIFC-LCIA Awards”, which was used in the consultation exercise (on which I previously reported in my blog of 20 July 2014), has now been watered down to “Practice Direction on the Referral of Judgment Payment Disputes to Arb [...]

The Use of Arbitration for Derivative Contracts

In recent years, international arbitration has increasingly been recognised as the preferred dispute resolution mechanism for cross-border derivative transactions, particularly those involving parties from emerging markets. The key reasons for this popularity include the growing diversity of counterparties and jurisdictions involved in derivatives trading, worldwide enforceability of arbitral awards against assets located in over 150 countries, access to neutral and specialist decision-makers, and confidentiality requirements.

Due to the complexities and considerable risks associated with derivative transactions (including their customers’ varying degrees of financial sophistication), ther [...]

A Step toward Greater Transparency: The UN Transparency Convention

On 17 March 2015, the UN Convention on Transparency in Treaty-Based Investor-State Arbitration was opened for signature. So far, nine countries have signed the treaty (among them, Canada, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States). The Convention will enter into force six months after the first three instruments of ratification have been deposited by any of the States which have signed the Convention (Article 9(2)). This post briefly considers how the Convention operates, its notable features, and possible implications should States show a willingness to ratify it.

Operation of the Convention

The Convention is designed to provide additional scope for the application of the UN [...]

Conflating Politics and Development?

The University of Virginia’s Spring 2014 symposium focused on the topic of international development. One panel focused on the role of international politics in the context of international dispute settlement. With the mandate to examine elements related to both politics and development, I was asked to explore outcomes in investment treaty arbitration (ITA) as a function of these twin variables. My recent article, published in the Virginia Journal of International Law, focuses on this intersection.

Recognizing that debates about ITA are reaching the mainstream in venues including The Economist, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, dueling editorials in the Washington Post, and even Joh [...]

English Courts Set Aside Award on Grounds of Serious Irregularity under Section 68 of the Arbitration Act 1996

An often cited advantage of arbitration, as opposed to litigation, is the finality of the process. The grounds for time-consuming and costly challenges and appeals are limited.

Under the English 1996 Arbitration Act (the “Act”), parties can only challenge or appeal an arbitration award on three grounds: (i) a challenge on the grounds that the tribunal lacks substantive jurisdiction under Section 67, (ii) a challenge on the grounds of serious irregularity causing substantial injustice under Section 68, and (iii) an appeal on a point of law under Section 69. Only Sections 67 and 68 are mandatory provisions. There is a high evidentiary threshold to be met in order for the grounds under any of t [...]

Conduct of Legal Representatives under the 2014 LCIA Arbitration Rules: How to Apply the New Provisions

and Queen Mary University of London

This article is published as a result of the cooperation agreement between Kluwer Arbitration Blog and ArbitralWomen. The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and should not be regarded as representative of, or binding upon ArbitralWomen and/or the author’s law firm.

Issues relating to the conduct of legal representatives in international arbitration have attracted significant attention in recent years.1 There is a lively debate as to whether and how counsel conduct can or should be regulated. On the one hand, one might argue that regulation is necessary to level the playing field in an area where legal cultures differ greatly.2 [...]

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