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Do Arbitrators Have A Special Duty Towards Unrepresented Parties?

and Alexandra Mitretodis, Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP

In 0927613 BC Ltd v 0941187 BC Ltd, 2014 BCJ No 2659, decided on August 21, 2014, the British Columbia Supreme Court stated that in the domestic context, an arbitrator must comply with the rules of natural justice and consider what assistance can be useful to provide unrepresented parties.

The two numbered companies were parties to a joint venture agreement with a third numbered company to purchase three properties for development purposes. The joint venture agreement was later amended. The joint venture agreement and the amended joint venture agreement provided for disputes to be resolved through mediation, and if mediation failed, [...]

A Recent Survey of Experienced U.S. Arbitrators Highlights Areas for Further International Study and Discussion

In 2013, an extensive survey of experienced commercial arbitrators in the U.S. was conducted by the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution with the cooperation of the College of Commercial Arbitrators (CCA), an organization of more than two hundred of the most experienced arbitrators in the U.S. The Survey provides considerable new data on arbitrators’ experiences, practices and perspectives.

Of course, canvasses of personal attitudes and experiences must be regarded with appropriate circumspection. Respondents may exaggerate levels of experience and skew answers to embrace norms perceived as “correct.” Lack of time or multi-tasking may undercut the accuracy or thoughtfulness of [...]

A Guide to the IBA’s Revised Guidelines on Conflicts of Interest

The IBA recently revised its Guidelines on Conflicts of Interest in International Arbitration. This was the culmination of a review by the IBA Arbitration Committee, which began in 2012. The salient changes address the rise of advance declarations by arbitrators; third-party funding; increasing significance of arbitral secretaries; and the possibility that an arbitrator, and counsel to one of the parties, operate from the same chambers. The Guidelines are widely consulted when arbitrators evaluate whether they can accept appointments, or if they first need to make disclosures to the parties about potential conflicts. This article outlines the key changes in the revised Guidelines.

Structure [...]

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 [...]

Fees of the Successfully Challenged Arbitrator?

In its decision of 17.2.2014, the Austrian Supreme Court decided on a claimant’s request for reimbursement of the portion of the fees advanced to the arbitrator whom it had successfully challenged during ongoing proceedings and on his liability for frustrated costs caused by the challenge and the appointment of a new arbitrator. Further, the claimant demanded reimbursement of the costs of the challenge proceedings. The challenge itself was not subject of the decision of the Supreme Court.

In the case before the court, the chairman of the tribunal had corresponded with an expert before the latter’s appointment and had been successfully challenged for this and other reasons.

The Supreme [...]

Answers to the Summer Quiz 2014

With hopes that those in the northern hemisphere had a fun summer packed with arbitration-related events for themselves and their families, below are the answers to this year’s summer quiz. The answer keys to the crossword and the word hunt were published in August.

While a Ph.d is not required to read the Kluwer arbitration blog, the winner of the dinner in Florence (for speed and accuracy of answers) went to Barbara Warwas, who is based in the UK and recently obtained her doctorate in international arbitration. Coming in at a close second was Phil Ray, a dispute resolution specialist (and retired Siemens in-house counsel) in Germany.

Congratulations to both Barbara and Phil!

Summer 2014 [...]

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