On 25 March 2015 the Court of Cassation of France handed down a new decision dealing with the so called “unilateral”, “optional”, “hybrid”, and “asymmetrical” jurisdiction clauses giving choice to one contractual party where to bring action against the other. Earlier in 2012, the same court issued the much discussed Rothschild decision which stated that…

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…

One of the defining and distinguishing features of arbitration is the privacy that it affords parties. However, as all practitioners recognize, arbitration is rarely conducted in full secrecy and applications to vacate or confirm an award can bring the existence, subject matter, and outcome of an arbitration to the forefront of public discourse. Often times,…

By Maxi Scherer and Sophia Lange1)Maxi Scherer is Special Counsel in the International Arbitration Practice Group of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP and Senior Lecturer at Queen Mary University London; Sophia Lange is an Associate in the International Arbitration Practice Group of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP. On 26 September 2012,…

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…

In International Research Corp PLC v Lufthansa Systems Asia Pacific Pte Ltd [2012] SGHC 226 (per Chan Seng Onn J) (“International Research”), the Singapore High Court addressed the issue of whether an arbitration clause contained in one contract between two parties binds a third party who subsequently enters into a supplemental agreement with the original…

Here are some recent issues colleagues or acquaintences tell me they are facing with international arbitration, without (or with slightly altered) information that might identify a particular proceeding or party. My own comments follow each. I invite readers to amplify with their own views on how to handle these situations, or compare with issues they…

In a judgment dated 25 April 2012 (Lombard North Central plc and another v GATX Corporation [2012] EWHC 1067 (Comm)), Judge Andrew Smith of the English High Court (Commercial Court) underlined the potential risks that might arise from arbitration clauses which have a limited scope. Although this judgment is relevant to a number of different…

By Matthias Scherer and Sam Moss In a recent decision issued on 7 November 2011 on a request for annulment of a partial award on jurisdiction rendered by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (“TAS”), the Swiss Supreme Court recalled and applied its previous jurisprudence on the interpretation of pathological arbitration clauses (Case 4A_246/2011). The…

Even when I think I know what I’m doing (be it self-confidence or self-deception), I still find checklists can be useful. Sometimes they can help validate or compare processes with others, but mostly they are good at making sure I haven’t forgotten some critical step. Below is a checklist for when someone – a business…

In this post, we will first deal briefly with the facts in the case of Jivraj v Hashwani and the findings of the first instance judge and the Court of Appeal, which by now would be very familiar to anyone reading this blog. We will then look at the Supreme Court’s judgment ([2011] UKSC 40),…

Almost every country of the world has seen an enormous increase in the involvement of the State in economic activity over the past century. This trend is particularly pronounced in those economies, China foremost among them, in which the State takes an active role in commercial life. But can State owned entities and other private…

In a landmark provisional judgment in Democratic Republic of the Congo v. FG Hemisphere Associates FACV Nos. 5, 6 & 7 of 2010, the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal (CFA) has held by a majority of 3:2 that absolute sovereign immunity applies in Hong Kong, with no exception for purely commercial transactions or assets….

One of the key issues that now awaits the decision of the U.K. Supreme Court in Jivraj v. Hashwani is whether there is a contract between the parties and the arbitrators, such that the arbitrators may be considered “employees” of the parties (and thereby subject to the law prohibiting discrimination by employers)? If there is…

The Arab Spring transforming the societies of the Middle East has raised more than a few questions among us in-house folk about what this will mean for dispute resolution in the region. Will civil institutions, in particular the courts, be a reliable mechanism in the coming years for upholding contractual rights, including agreements to arbitrate…

Everyone is looking at China at the moment, and rightly so. It’s a very exciting place to be. Many MNCs are already here and many others are determined to get a piece of the action. But where there’s business, there are disputes. And where there’s international business, there’s arbitration. There is no doubt that the…