The U.S. Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) provides that a federal district court may vacate an arbitration award, among other reasons, “where there was evident partiality or corruption in the arbitrators.” 9 U.S.C. §10(a). However, as illustrated by a recently decided case in the Southern District of New York, U.S. district courts apply different standards of…

A new study of dispute resolution practices in Fortune 1,000 corporations shows that many large companies are using binding arbitration less often and relying more on mediated negotiation and other approaches aimed at resolving disputes informally, quickly and inexpensively. The 2011 survey of corporate counsel developed by researchers at Cornell University’s Scheinman Institute on Conflict…

Over the past decade, Africa has emerged as a leading center of economic growth. From mining and manufacturing, to banking and telecoms, nearly every industry is witnessing rapid expansion in Africa, driven by both African enterprises and businesses from around the world. Naturally, an increase in international commerce has resulted in an attendant increase in…

Co-authored by Christopher Boog and Benjamin Moss, Schellenberg Wittmer An arbitral tribunal’s duty to render an enforceable award is frequently used by commentators and counsel alike in support of positions on myriad matters ranging from procedural fairness and jurisdiction to the application of mandatory foreign law. Its considerable malleability has indeed made it very attractive…

By Pia Eberhardt, Corporate Europe Observatory, and Cecilia Olivet, Transnational Institute At the end of November, Corporate Europe Observatory and the Transnational Institute published Profiting from Injustice, a report that looks at the role of law firms, arbitrators and third-party funders in investment treaty arbitration. In it, we argued that the arbitration industry has fuelled…

As its Council Member I attended the ICC Institute of World Business Law’s 32nd annual meeting on ‘Third-Party Funding in International Arbitration’ held in Paris on 26 November 2012. It was a grand success as it drew many professionals, arbitrators, experts, academic specialists and, above all, representatives from some major third-party funding bodies such as…

“Research is formalized curiosity…” – Z. Hurston In what follows I have tried to gather information from publicly available sources regarding some of the questions which have troubled my mind lately. It is hoped that the results would be of interest to the readers. For me, this proved to be one of my most exciting…

The new international survey on arbitral practices has just been released. Now in its fourth iteration, the survey has come a long way since its inception in 2006 at the School of International Arbitration of Queen Mary, University of London. While the first three surveys purported to measure in-house counsel attitudes about arbitration and the…

In June 2010 the Court of Appeal’s decision in Jivraj v Hashwani caused dismay in the arbitration community. Does an arbitration agreement which provides criteria for the appointment of arbitrators risk falling foul of the Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003 (the “Regulations”) or other UK anti-discrimination law? The Supreme Court judgment of 27…

As Rusty Park remarked, “[I]n real estate the three key elements are ‘location, location, location,’ … in arbitration the applicable trinity is ‘arbitrator, arbitrator, arbitrator.”’ Empirical studies consistently verify that parties’ ability to select arbitrators is one of the primary reasons they select arbitration as a means of dispute resolution. Parties also consistently vote with…

The situation of a truncated arbitral tribunal may be caused by various factors. It may arise when a three-member tribunal during the course of the arbitral proceedings and before the rendering of the award does not remain the same at some point, meaning that one of the members of the tribunal dies, resigns or fails…

In recent decades, Spanish legislators have increasingly turned their attention to private arbitration. The Spanish Arbitration Act 1953, mainly dealing with civil actions, was replaced by the 1988 Act directed at resolutions of commercial disputes, with a particular focus on international commercial arbitration. The aim was to make Spain a leader in the field, taking…

The China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (“CIETAC“) has recently published its revised Arbitration Rules, which will come into force on 1 May 2012 (the “2012 Rules“). This is the seventh revision of the CIETAC Rules since they were first published in 1956. Whilst the majority of the changes in the 2012 Rules are…

The views of lawyers involved in international commercial and investment arbitration are being sought for a new international arbitration survey from Queen Mary, University of London (QMUL). Conducted by QMUL’s School of International Arbitration and sponsored by White & Case LLP, the 2012 survey aims to examine whether a “harmonised international arbitration procedure is emerging,…

Following its June 2011 decision in the case of STMicroelectronics, NV v. Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC, 648 F.3d 68 (2d Cir. 2011), the Second Circuit has again considered the issue of vacating an award due to an arbitrator’s non-disclosure. Earlier this month, the Second Circuit handed down judgment in the case of Scandinavian Reinsurance…

What makes an international arbitrator different from a national judge? All of us in the arbitration world have a pretty solid answer to this question. At what point do the distinctions between an international arbitrator and an international judge melt away? That’s a bit of a trickier question, depending on the case. With the increase…

At its session of 15 November 2011, the International Council of Arbitration for Sports (ICAS) amended Article 14 of the Statutes of the bodies working for the settlement of Sport-related Disputes (Article S14) and abandoned the old regime which provided that with regard to the list of CAS arbitrators, the ICAS had to respect a…

It is not unusual for retired judges to serve as arbitrators. But what about sitting judges? A number of European countries permit sitting judges to serve as arbitrators. See Gary B. Born, International Commercial Arbitration 1449 (2009); see, e.g., U.K. Arbitration Act 1996, § 93. In the United States, however, ethics rules generally prohibit judges…

The recently published abstracts of LCIA Court decisions on arbitrator challenges between 1996 and 2010 (Arbitration International, vol. 27, no. 3, 2011) make surprisingly interesting reading. They are an important reminder of the types of egregious arbitrator conduct that, while fortunately rare, can give the system a bad name unless promptly corrected. At the same…

By Laurence Franc-Menget and Vanina Sucharitkul, Herbert Smith LLP In a decision rendered on 2 November 2011, the Reims Court of Appeal annulled an ICC Award for failure to disclose conflict of interest during proceedings, irrespective of the ICC Rules on challenging arbitrators in the case Avax v. Technimont.1)CA Reims, 2 Novembre 2011, n°. 10/02888 This…

Arbitration practitioners have traditionally had very little illumination into the outcomes, let alone the reasoning, of arbitrator challenge decisions. Few arbitral institutions set out in writing to the parties the reasons for their challenge decisions, and even fewer institutions have made these decisions available to the larger arbitration community. Past posts on this blog have…

Occasional articles, postings, etc come out which discuss the lack of female representation in international arbitration. Perhaps possible reasons are suggested, perhaps only statistics given, but it is still clearly an issue. Beyond talking about it – how can we actually help the situation? In an article from June 2009, Michael Goldhaber noted that in…

In an emergency, swift and effective action is required. Yet in international arbitration proceedings, it can take weeks or months to constitute an arbitral tribunal. What options, then, are open to a party in need of urgent interim relief before an arbitral tribunal has been formed? In many circumstances, applying to the national courts of…