Switzerland is a global hub for commodity traders, and therefore also a significant jurisdiction for disputes arising in the commodities sector. A recent decision of the Swiss Federal Supreme Court (Decision 5A_441/2015 of 4 February 2016 (ASA Bull. 2/2016)) addresses important issues relating to commodity sales contracts and Swiss enforcement proceedings. The case involved arbitral proceedings…

On 1 March 2016, the European Court of Human Rights (“ECtHR” or the “Court”) rendered a decision in the case of Tabbane v. Switzerland (application no. 41069/12). In that decision, which was published on 24 March 2016, the Court, for the first time, examined the compatibility of a waiver of recourse against an arbitral award…

and Katherine Bell, Schellenberg Wittmer In decision 4A_554/2014 dated 15 April 2015, the Swiss Federal Supreme Court considered an application to set aside an award on the ground of violation of the right to be heard where the sole arbitrator had based her award on a legal concept that had not been explicitly pleaded by…

and Katherine Bell, Schellenberg Wittmer In 2014, the Swiss Supreme Court rendered 32 decisions on petitions to set aside international arbitral awards. Consistent with a traditionally low success rate, the Supreme Court granted only 4 of the 32 petitions. One of these four petitions was considered in a French-language decision dated 7 April 2014 (Decision…

By Matthias Scherer and Sam Moss, LALIVE In a judgment dated 7 July 2014, which was made public on 20 August 2014 (case no. 4A_124/2014), the Swiss Federal Supreme Court (the “Supreme Court”) addressed the enforceability of a precondition for arbitration in a multi-tier dispute resolution provision, namely the requirement to submit a dispute to…

The views expressed in this article are those of the authors alone and should not be regarded as representative of, or binding upon ArbitralWomen and/or the authors’ respective law firms. While the press has been full lately of a reported backlash against investment arbitration, Switzerland has been making quiet progress in its efforts to update…

Co-authored by Georg von Segesser, Benjamin Moss and Aileen Truttmann, Schellenberg Wittmer An arbitral tribunal’s relationship to state courts remains a complex and often contested topic. A particularly interesting question in this regard is whether a party to arbitral proceedings should be able to seek recovery of damages it was ordered to pay in state…

This post suggests revisiting the issue of whether bankruptcy of a foreign company party to arbitration proceedings pending in Switzerland can prevent the arbitration from moving forward and questions whether a specific provision should be introduced in Swiss legislation to specifically address the issue. The State of Play As it stands, the issue is not…

Arbitration proceedings sometimes spawn a host of parallel court proceedings.  It is not unheard for parties to seek to instrumentalise courts, sometimes with the complicity of the courts themselves, to escape the jurisdiction of an arbitral tribunal.  Such conduct may, however, expose parties to liability for breach of the arbitration agreement, as was confirmed by…

In a recent decision of the Swiss First Civil Law Court (X._____ v. Y.______, 4A_669/2012), an arbitral award was annulled on the basis that the arbitrator had violated the appellant’s right to be heard. Although the decision applies Swiss Federal law, the decision is relevant to practitioners in other jurisdictions which allow for annulment of…

Nathalie Voser and Anya George Few Swiss cases have sparked as much debate in the arbitration community as the Swiss Supreme Court’s 2009 decision in Vivendi vs. Elektrim. In that decision, the Supreme Court upheld the award of an arbitral tribunal seated in Switzerland which had declined jurisdiction over one of the respondents, Elektrim, after…

In a recently published decision dated 6 August 2012 (4A_119/2012), the Swiss Federal Supreme Court confirmed its own jurisprudence according to which state courts facing a jurisdictional defense based on an alleged arbitration agreement must not assess in full the validity of the arbitration agreement. In such cases, the state court must limit itself to a summary examination of whether or not a valid arbitration agreement exists.

On 27 September 2012, the Swiss Parliament adopted a motion that had been introduced earlier this year tasking the Government to prepare a report on the Swiss Arbitration Law (chapter 12 of the Federal Act on Private International Law (PILA)).  The objective of the report is to further enhance the attractiveness of Switzerland as a…

With its decision of 27 March 2012, the Swiss Federal Supreme Court held unlawful a disciplinary sanction by which FIFA threatened the football player Matuzalem with a lifetime ban in case he failed to pay a damage claim of his former club and employer. By an earlier decision of the CAS, Francelino da Silva Matuzalem,…

By Matthias Scherer and Simone Nadelhofer, LALIVE, Geneva and Zurich The Swiss Federal Supreme Court recently published a decision rendered last addressing the enforceability of an English Worldwide Freezing Order (“WFO”) in Switzerland. Of particular interest was the question whether a party can apply for a mere declaration of enforceability without actually seeking to enforce…

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…

In its decision 4A_162/2011 of 20 July 2011, which was published on 2 September 2011, the Swiss Federal Supreme Court elaborated on the content of – and limits to – the right of parties to call witnesses. The arbitration which gave rise to the decision was between the Jamaica Football Federation and its former coach,…

In a post dated March 2, 2011, I reported about a Swiss Supreme Court decision of February 20, 2009 where the Supreme Court had confirmed a CAS award which deemed an appeal withdrawn after the appellant had failed to pay the advance on costs. I indicated that I did not know what had happened to…

In a recent decision, the Swiss Supreme Court examined whether contractual provisions contemplating certain procedural steps before initiating arbitration proceedings impacted the jurisdiction of the arbitral tribunal (Case no. 4A_46/2011 of 16 May 2011, to be published in ASA Bulletin, 2011. English translation to be published in Swiss International Arbitration Law Reports, 2011). The contract,…

According to the rules governing domestic arbitration (Art 30 of the Concordat on Arbitration, and, as of 1 January 2011, Art. 378 of the Swiss Federal Code on Civil Procedure), a party that does not pay its share of the advance on the arbitration costs requested by the arbitral tribunal risks to lose the benefit…

Introduction: Many international commercial contracts (such as e.g., construction, distribution, sale and purchase) are governed by Swiss (substantive) law as per a choice of law provision. Often the choice of law is made in combination with an arbitration clause referring disputes to arbitration in Switzerland. The effect of international sanctions on commercial contracts has become…

Switzerland may be one of the world’s most important arbitral seats, even so one would scarcely expect arbitration to hold much interest for the tubercular residents of Davos in Mann’s novel Der Zauberberg or The Magic Mountain. Yet aficionados of arbitration who persevere to the sixth chapter of his lengthy book are treated to a…