and Ian Hopkinson, Clyde & Co
At above US$60 per barrel, crude oil prices have bounced a little since their January 2015 low. However, with continued mixed indications concerning US production, opinion remains divided on where prices will end up in the short to medium term. As the recent GAR Live Energy Disputes event (held at Clyde & Co’s London headquarters on 6 May) confirmed, there is perhaps even less in the way of consensus on what lies ahead in terms of the medium-term effects on the energy industry and this uncertainty is necessarily echoed and amplified when it comes to disputes.
It is a maxim of modern legal practice that market volatility creates disputes. However, some panellist [...]
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.
Singapore’s longstanding reputation as an arbitration friendly jurisdiction was reinforced in 2010 with the legislature’s adoption of the 2006 amendments to the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration. The 2006 UNCITRAL amendments concerned, among other matters, the use of interim awards in international arbitration, and recognised “the need for provisions in the Model Law to conform to current practices in international trade and modern means of contracting with regard to … the granting of interim measures” (General Assembly Resolution 61/33 on 4 December 2006).
Since 2010, under section 12(1) of Singapore’s International Arbitration Act (IAA), an arbitral tribunal has [...]
International arbitration must of necessity rely on the courts to uphold and enforce arbitral awards and to support the arbitral process. In words of Professor Jan Paulsson, “the great paradox of arbitration is that it seeks the cooperation of the very public authorities from which it wants to free itself.” (Jan Paulsson, Arbitration in Three Dimensions, LSE Legal Studies Working Paper No. 2/2010 (January 13, 2010)) The courts, not the arbitrators, have to give effect to the arbitral award. Hence, one of the major issues in the law of arbitration continues to be the tension between the courts and the arbitral process: while judicial support is vital to the arbitral process, excessive interve [...]
The case of Perenco Ecuador Limited v Republic of Ecuador, ICSID Case No. ARB/08/6 (Decision, 12 September 2014), is one of a number of investor-state disputes to arise from the Ecuadoran government’s policies on the so-called “extraordinary income” of oil companies operating in its territory in the mid to late 2000s. Keen followers of international arbitration will recall three previous cases concerned with the same issues:
• Murphy Exploration & Production Company – International v. Republic of Ecuador, (UNCITRAL, PCA Case No. AA434 / ICSID Case No. ARB/08/4), which is now proceeding in an UNCITRAL arbitration after the ICSID proceedings were dismissed for lack of jurisdiction;
• Re [...]
During the last few years, a series of court decisions in India have strengthened the pro-arbitration stance in the Indian judiciary. In BALCO (2012), the Supreme Court of India limited the supervisory jurisdiction of the Indian courts regarding arbitrations seated outside India. Since BALCO, further decisions of the Supreme Court and High Courts of India have elaborated on issues such as the remit of “public policy of India” in enforcement of foreign arbitral awards (Shri Lal Mahal v Progetto Grano Spa (2013), reference to issues relating to fraud to arbitration (WSG v MSM Satellite (2014) and Swiss Timing v Organising Committee (2014)), and doctrine of severability in arbitration (Mulheim [...]