In a decision dated 16 March 2016 (4A_628/2015), the Swiss Supreme Court decided the long-open question of the consequence of a failure to comply with a mandatory pre-tier to arbitration, finding that such failure leads to the stay of the arbitration proceedings until the pre-arbitral tier has been conducted. The modalities of the stay (in…

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…

and David Mamane and Hannah Boehm, Schellenberg Wittmer With its interim judgment of 15 January 2015, the Higher Regional Court of Munich added a new chapter to the longstanding legal dispute between the German speed skater Claudia Pechstein and the International Skating Union (“ISU”) (see the previous report on this story). The full decision has…

co-authored by Georg von Segesser and Mirina Grosz, Schellenberg Wittmer Ltd. In a recent decision, the Swiss Federal Tribunal rejected an appeal to set aside a final award of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (“CAS”) (Decision of the Swiss Federal Tribunal (“DFT”) of 11 June 2014, 4A_178/2014). The appellant, a professional cyclist who faced…

Has the number of bad faith challenges against arbitral awards increased? Is there a need to better control parties and their counsel, and to sanction them should they not play by the rules? The topic was discussed earlier this year at a seminar organized in Stockholm by the Swedish Arbitration Association.1)Seminar of the Swedish Arbitration…

By Georg von Segesser / Elisabeth Leimbacher / Katherine Bell, Schellenberg Wittmer Ltd. In two almost identical German language decisions dated 27 March 2014 (Decisions 4A_362/2013 and 4A_448/2013) the Swiss Federal Supreme Court (“Supreme Court”) considered that the reliance on an illegally obtained video recording in a CAS award does not violate public policy (these…

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…

Co-authored by Christopher Smith and James Menz, Schellenberg Wittmer On 10 January 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit issued a highly anticipated decision in Consorcio Ecuatoriano de Telecomunicaciones S.A. v. JAS Forwarding (USA), Inc., 2014 WL 104132 (11th Cir. Jan. 10, 2014) (hereinafter Consorcio II). The holding vacated the same panel’s…

by James Menz and Anya George, Schellenberg Wittmer The (proper) use of administrative secretaries is a recurring topic in the arbitration community. The debate has flared up again in recent months, following the issuance, in August 2012, of the ICC Secretariat’s new Note on the Appointment, Duties, and Remuneration of Administrative Secretaries and, a few…

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…

On November 9, 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari in American Express Co. v. Italian Colors Restaurant. A decision will be rendered in 2013. At issue is the enforceability of an arbitration clause that includes a class action waiver in a federal antitrust case. The case has attracted considerable attention in the United States,…

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 French-language decision dated 18 June 2012 in Case 4A_488/2011, the Swiss Supreme Court considered as “convincing” the view that the Court of Arbitration for Sport has jurisdiction to hear an appeal filed after expiry of the time limit. Since the time limit to appeal turned out to be met in this case, the…

The revised Swiss Rules of International Arbitration (“Swiss Rules”) enter into force today, 1 June 2012. While some general background has been given elsewhere (see here), the following specific features of the revised Swiss Rules can be underlined. Under the revised Swiss Rules, the administration of the arbitrations by the Court remains light as it…

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,…

Overview of the conference held on February 23 – 24 in London A conference on international dispute resolution involving Russian and CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States; association of former Soviet Republics) companies took place in London last week. The conference was well attended, mainly by major law firms in London and Russia, by Cypriot lawyers…

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…

In a decision dated 20 September 2011, the Swiss Federal Supreme Court held that the arbitration clause contained in a License Agreement for boxing equipment, interpreted by the CAS arbitral tribunal as referring to any dispute related to the said agreement, could equally cover disputes arising out of other related contracts, such as the contract…

The High Court of the Canton of Zurich had to examine in a recent case whether the allegedly false testimony of a witness in arbitration proceedings was punishable under the Article 307 of the Swiss Criminal Code as perjury. Up to now, it was disputed by scholars whether the requirements for witness testimony in state…

In a decision dated 14 June 2011 and published on 7 July 2011, the Swiss Federal Supreme Court dismissed an appeal to set aside an arbitral award holding that the right to the appointment of an expert by the tribunal is not violated where the respective request was not made in a timely manner and…

According to article 7 of the Swiss Private International Law (PILA), if the parties have entered into an arbitration agreement, the Swiss Court before which the action is brought shall decline its jurisdiction unless it finds that the agreement is null and void, inoperative or incapable of being performed. An initiative to amend article 7…