In a judgment dated June 2, 2009, the Singapore Court of Appeal has upheld a “hybrid” arbitration clause which provided that all disputes should be resolved “by arbitration before the Singapore International Arbitration Centre in accordance with the Rules of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce”. In the case of Insigma Technology Co Ltd…

One of the greatest challenges for international arbitration in recent times is the users’ complaint that the process has become too costly. In-house counsel are under pressure to control costs, and they grumble that arbitrators and international arbitration counsel are not sufficiently responsive to their concerns. Outside counsel are rightly troubled by these complaints. Frustrating…

1. Is Arbitral Jurisprudence anything more than a myth? 2. How does persuasiveness of past awards operate? 3. Is Precedent the product of the intrinsic qualities of one or more particularly well-reasoned awards? 4. Why do arbitral awards need to be available? 5. Why is reliance on arbitral precedents not frequent? 6. Should all awards…

On 1 September 2008, the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (the “HKIAC”) adopted a new set of arbitration rules, entitled the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre Administered Arbitration Rules (the “Administered Rules”). In a press release in January 2009, the HKIAC announced that it had already received cases under the Administered Rules. The Administered Rules…

On 1 May 2009, the new “Online” Arbitration Rules (the “Online Rules”) of the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (“CIETAC”) came into effect. At this stage, it appears that the Online Rules are only available in Chinese. The Online Rules are aimed primarily at e-commerce disputes, although parties are free to agree to…

The already much debated Paris Court of appeal judgment in Tecnimont, rendered on 12 February 2009, has put into light the dangers arising from the lack of uniformity in the field of conflict disclosure. The Paris Court of appeal has quashed a partial award because the chairman of the arbitral tribunal, a well-known international arbitrator…

Tribunals in investment arbitrations currently impose a fairly consistent set of restrictions to the submissions of amici curiae in proceedings before them, such as short page limits, no access to the arbitral record, etc. The question is whether there are instances where these restrictions need to be tempered.

ICSID arbitration proceedings against Germany (Vattenfall AB, Vattenfall Europe AG, Vattenfall Europe Generation AG & Co. KG v. Federal Republic of Germany – ICSID On April 17, 2009, the government-owned Swedish energy company Vattenfall initiated Case No. ARB/09/6, reported in IA Reporter, April 2nd, 2009 (Vol. 2, No. 6)). The dispute concerns the construction by…

Dedicated to the late Thomas Wälde, The Future of Investment Arbitration examines some of the current pressures on investment arbitration and looks toward the future of the system as a whole. The authors address issues such as gaps in the procedural rules, the lack of development in certain substantive areas of international investment law, inconsistencies…

In two recently reported cases, parties to arbitrations have challenged arbitrator and/or institutional fees where the underlying awards have also been subject to annulment or set aside proceedings. Are these cases isolated instances or do they signal an increased trend? The answer may have widespread ramifications for how, and where, arbitrations are conducted and administered….

In the early 1990’s, then World Bank Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Ibrahim Shihata, and then ICSID Legal Advisor, Antonio Parra, observed that there “was hardly any case law” on the full protection and security standard. In so doing, Messrs. Shihata and Parra also posited that “[a]rbitrators in future cases will undoubtedly have the…

The Japan Commercial Arbitration Association (the “JCAA”) introduced their International Commercial Mediation Rules (the “Rules”) on 1 January 2009. The JCAA has followed the lead of other international arbitral institutions in devising and promoting a set of mediation rules for international disputes. Settling disputes by mediation is hardly new to Japan. In a domestic context,…

In Switzerland, the Federal Supreme Court has recently, and for the first time, had the opportunity to hear and reject the challenge of an award rendered pursuant to the Expedited Procedure (Article 42) of the Swiss Rules. There is nowadays a recurring complaint that arbitration is becoming too long and too expensive a dispute resolution…

What could be more basic? Arbitrations begin with each side naming an arbitrator. References are occasionally made to “the fundamental right” to name one’s arbitrator. But there is no such right. Moreover, if it existed, it would certainly not be fundamental. The original concept that legitimates arbitration is that of an arbitrator in whom both…

George Bermann, the ALI Reporter for the Restatement (Third) on the U.S. Law of International Commercial Arbitration, presented a wonderful summary of the current progress on the Restatement at the ASIL annual meeting last week. Here are a few key thoughts from my notes. The Restatement is in its early stages and it could take…

“…so many construction disputes are now heading towards arbitration” remarks the calling notice for the next Society of Construction Law-Gulf event in Dubai in April. Around the world, the economic downturn is producing very many financial disputes. The speculation is that with the global recession deepening, the number of arbitrations is set to spiral upwards….

One of the defining features of the international arbitration community is the plethora of international arbitration conferences. Every month the calendar is full of opportunities to travel the world to attend conferences. This month it is Frankfurt, Lausanne, The Hague, and Washington. Last month it was Paris, Dubai, Vienna and Bonn. It’s not exactly normal…

Last week I attended a wonderful conference at Pepperdine Law School on international sports arbitrations administered by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). It is a remarkably sophisticated regime that deserves far greater attention than it typically receives by the international arbitration community. Under the CAS Rules, all CAS tribunals have their seat in…

In light of interest in the international arbitration community concerning investment treaty cases against Argentina since the 2001 economic crisis, we thought it could be useful to share Freshfields’ working collation. We caution that this is based only on public records and press reports. Corrections are welcome. According to our data, 46 treaty cases have…

As reported several months ago – and confirmed last week – the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) has a new Secretary-General. Meg Kinnear comes to the post after working for nearly two and a half decades as a lawyer for the Canadian Government. Of that time, the last decade has been spent…

Ten years ago virtually all international arbitration was in a black box. The awards were accessible to the parties and virtually no one else. One had vague impressions about the quality of arbitration generally and individual arbitrators in particular. But there was no objective data from which to judge these impressions. Investment arbitration changed all…

Rex has recently installed himself as the benevolent dictator of a resource-rich country where many live in poverty. He took power from a government he accuses of having distributed national wealth in a grossly unfair manner. He proclaims a policy of redistributive justice, and enjoys passionate popularity among the vast disadvantaged segments of the population….

Global Arbitration Review recently reported that the August 27, 2008 Award in Plama Consortium Limited v. Republic of Bulgaria (ICSID Case No. ARB/03/24) was selected as the Best Award and the Most Surprising Award of 2008 in a survey of participants in the international arbitration on line discussion forum OGEMID. The 120-day period to apply…

In recent years the international arbitration community seems to be obsessed with the issue of arbitrator impartiality, independence and bias. The 2004 IBA Guidelines were followed by the LCIA’s 2006 Special Report and Decision to Publish challenge determinations, followed in 2007 by the ICC Bulletin Special Supplement, and most recently by TDM’s 2008 Special Issue…