The ICC Commission on Arbitration and ADR’s Task Force on Financial Institutions and International Arbitration recently published its ‘Report on Financial Institutions and International Arbitration’ (the “Report”). The undersigned had the honour of leading the work stream on “International Financing” and the findings of that team are summarized in Section IX (International Financing) of the…

and Mona Wright The School of International Arbitration at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) and White & Case LLP are partnering once again to carry out cutting-edge empirical research in the field of international arbitration. Titled “Improvements and Innovations in International Arbitration”, the 2015 International Arbitration Survey seeks to explore “whether and how international…

By Michael Polkinghorne & Charles B. Rosenberg, White & Case LLP The role of the tribunal secretary in international arbitration has been called an “enormously grey area” that has been subject to instances of “abuse.” With concerns of the secretary going beyond his or her position as an assistant to the tribunal and becoming a…

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,…

This is an update on the post of 27 January 2012 dealing with the African Fertilisers decision. Last week, the English Court of Appeal handed down its judgment in the latest episode of the West Tankers dispute, upholding the first instance decision and approving the decision of the Commercial Court in African Fertilisers. The decision…

Following the path of the hotly debated West Tankers decision, in African Fertilizers v BD Shipsnavo, the English Commercial Court held that a declaratory award is enforceable, allowing judgment to be entered on the same terms as the arbitral award. Such an order enables a party to obtain the material benefit of the award and…

On 7 October 2011 the Svea Court of Appeal ruled on whether an arbitral award should be declared invalid or annulled because the dispute – as alleged by the plaintiff – was not arbitrable under the Swedish Arbitration Act.1)Case no. T 6798-10. In finding that the dispute was arbitrable, the Svea Court considered several interesting…

The escalation of costs and delays in international arbitration and the consequent dissatisfaction of the system’s users have become prime subjects for users of and commentators on international arbitration.1)See, for example, Jean-Claude Najar, ‘Inside Out: A User’s Perspective on Challenges in International Arbitration’, Arbitration International, 25 (2009) 515, 517. An informal study by the Corporate…

CIETAC’s Vice Chairman and Secretary General recently announced at a conference in London that CIETAC may soon permit parties to select arbitrators from outside the CIETAC list. As the CIETAC Rules currently allow parties to appoint off-list only if they have agreed to do so, this announcement suggests that CIETAC may in the future allow…

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…

Clear tendencies towards an arbitration-friendly approach have been demonstrated by the Swedish Supreme Court during the latter part of 2010. During this term the Supreme Court has repeatedly taken an arbitration-friendly stance and emphasized that Swedish arbitration law and practice ought to be in line with international best practice in arbitration. Sweden has a long-standing…

The new French arbitration law, published on 14 January 2011, further reinforces Paris’ position as a leading arbitration centre. The new law, which comes thirty years after the previous 1980 law regarding domestic arbitration and the 1981 law dealing with international arbitration, maintains the distinction between domestic and international arbitration. It clarifies and enhances an…

On December 1, 2010, an ICSID tribunal composed of Sir Franklin Berman (President), Prof. Emmanuel Gaillard, and J. Christopher Thomas, QC, in Global Trading Resource Corp. and Globex International, Inc. v. Ukraine [Disclosure: White & Case LLP was counsel to Ukraine in this case], became the first tribunal ever to dismiss a case under the…

In two recent decisions, the Singapore High Court reaffirmed its stance on minimal intervention in arbitration proceedings. The two decisions were made against different sets of circumstances but the Court nonetheless abided by its policy of minimal intervention. This posting examines the two recent decisions, in particular, the approach taken by the High Court. In…

A major new survey on international arbitration conducted by Queen Mary University London and sponsored by White & Case revealed several interesting findings on corporate choices concerning international arbitration.* As already reported by Global Arbitration Review, the survey shows “the extent to which the governing law is a driver of choice among those framing arbitration…

The growing success of investment arbitration may collide with the European Commission’s attitude towards intra-EU BITs, as shown recently by a development reported in August 2010 (the IA Reporter, August 5, 2010, Vol. 3, No. 12) regarding the Eureko v. Slovakia arbitration. In this case, Eureko initiated a claim against the Slovak Republic based on…

The clearest indication of a shift in the approach of the Russian arbitrazh (commercial) courts* came in April 2010, when the Presidium of Russia’s Supreme Arbitrazh (Commercial) Court issued a precedential decision, holding that interim relief measures may be ordered by Russian arbitrazh courts in aid of foreign arbitration. The ruling has resolved an ongoing…

The United States’ Supreme Court opinion in Stolt-Nielsen S.A. v. Animalfeeds International Corp. has already been the focus of much discussion in both U.S. and international arbitration circles. One area of interest for arbitration practitioners is the impact which the decision may or should have on how drafters of arbitration clauses should address the issue…

On April 27, 2010, the Supreme Court of the United States issued its decision in Stolt-Nielsen S.A. v. AnimalFeeds International Corp., No. 08-1198, 559 U.S. ___ (2010). The Court reversed a Second Circuit ruling permitting arbitrators to impose class arbitration upon four shipping companies—including White & Case client Stolt-Nielsen S.A.—under those shipping companies’ shipping contracts…

Given that the arbitration clause is often relegated to the status of boiler-plate during contractual negotiations, it will come as no surprise that arbitration clauses may be inadequately drafted. While not every clause will be so deficient as to be ‘pathological’, many readers of this blog will have first-hand experience of dealing with the fall-out…

On January 15, 2010, the United States Supreme Court granted a writ of certiorari in Rent-A-Center West, Inc. v. Jackson, Case No. 09-497, agreeing to revisit the oft-litigated issue of whether the court or arbitrator should determine arbitrability under the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”). The Court’s prior jurisprudence has established the general rule, as a…

On 8 July 2009, the French Supreme Court rendered a decision confirming its position that the existence and the validity of an arbitration agreement should be determined primarily in light of the common intent of the parties (Société d’études et représentations navales et industrielles (SOERNI) et autres vs. Société Air Sea Broker limited (ASB), July…

The emerging rule in the U.S. that, to recognize and enforce an arbitral award under the New York Convention, a U.S. court must have personal jurisdiction over the award debtor or his or her property in the forum, has attracted criticism. International arbitration specialists argue that this requirement restricts enforcement of valid arbitral awards in…

Until recently, no arbitral tribunal had found an investor’s claim under a BIT to be barred by a fork-in-the-road clause. Previous tribunals have found that for a fork-in-the-road clause to apply, the same dispute between the same parties must have been submitted to the local courts before resort to international arbitration and have drawn clear…