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Interviewing Prospective Arbitrators


It is often said that the choice of a party-nominated arbitrator is the single most important decision a party will make in any arbitration. The right to appoint one of the decision-makers sets the arbitral process apart from litigation, and is touted as a key selling point.

When exercising this right, it is now increasingly common for parties to interview a prospective arbitrator. This is understandable, and will often give a party valuable insight into the candidate, including his personality, technical skills, language abilities and approach to the arbitral process in general. Considering the time and costs associated with a full blown international arbitration, the stak [...]

Innovative New Criteria for Appointment of Arbitrators at Commercial Arbitration Centre of Lisbon

Seemingly not a month goes by without a new arbitral institution springing up, from Turkey to Bulgaria, from Georgia to Jerusalem, and from Cambodia to Rwanda. Establishing a new arbitration center, however, is not simply a matter of finding office space or picking a name.  In fact, picking a name can barely even be considered a task at all—it is almost pre-ordained that christening a new institution simply means deciding on how to combine the words “arbitration,” “international,” the name of the host city/state, and “center” (or “centre”), and possibly a term like “commercial” thrown in as something akin to literary flare in the realm of arbitral institution monikers.

The Most Recent Decision in the Pechstein Saga: Red Flag for Sports Arbitration?

and David Mamane and Hannah Boehm, Schellenberg Wittmer

With its interim judgment of 15 January 2015, the Higher Regional Court of Munich added a new chapter to the longstanding legal dispute between the German speed skater Claudia Pechstein and the International Skating Union (“ISU”) (see the previous report on this story). The full decision has not yet been published. So far, the court has only issued a press statement.

Shortly before the 2009 World Speed Skating Championships in Hamar, Ms Pechstein was tested positive in a doping control. Subsequently, the ISU banned her from all ISU competitions for two years. Based on the dispute resolution clause in the registration form for the champi [...]

Indian Supreme Court Declines to Intervene in International Arbitration with SIAC Appointing Authority

In the recent case of Pricol v. Johnson Controls (Pricol Limited v. Johnson Controls Enterprises Ltd and Ors, Arbitration Case (Civil) No.30 of 2014), the Supreme Court of India declined to intervene in an international arbitration with the SIAC as appointing authority, upholding the parties’ chosen mechanism in a well-reasoned decision which was marked by a degree of judicial deference towards the arbitral process that is in keeping with current international best practices. To those familiar with Indian arbitration law, this is a progressive development and marks a welcome contribution to a growing canon of pro-arbitration Indian precedents that began with the Bharat Aluminium case (Bha [...]

The Consolidation Arbitrator – An Arbitrator Too Far?

Whilst many institutional rules now contain provisions which expressly address the complex issue of consolidation, the recently revised rules of the International Centre for Dispute Resolution (the “ICDR”), the international arm of the American Arbitration Association (the “AAA”), are the first to have introduced the novel concept of the “consolidation arbitrator”. Under the ICDR Rules, rather than granting the power to consider and ultimately order consolidation to either the institution itself or a tribunal which has already been appointed in one of the existing arbitrations, a separate, specifically-appointed consolidation arbitrator is appointed for the task.

Whilst this innovation seeks [...]

The Problem of Repeat Arbitrators in Investment Arbitration

The very nature of an arbitrator requires that she or he be imbued with the principles of independence and impartiality, qualities that should never be doubted. Nonetheless, there has recently been an increased number of challenges to arbitrators in Investment Arbitrations subject to the procedures of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (the “ICSID”). There is a strong view that the ICSID arbitrators appear to be earning an unfortunate reputation as lacking in the aforementioned independence and impartiality due to, for example, multiple appointments by the same parties or counsel who happen to be called upon to resolve similar disputes or issues at the ICSID. [...]

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