Two appeal courts recently ruled on two separate cases in which arbitral awards were challenged on the basis that the tribunals had departed from decisions made on issues of merits in procedural orders. Generally, procedural orders are not final and binding and a tribunal is free to amend previously issued procedural orders. However, procedural orders are sometimes used as a tool for making interim decisions on the merits of the case.
The Svea Court of Appeal recently rejected City Säkerhet's motion to set aside an arbitral award. The judgment clarifies whether an arbitrator's application of a legal rule to which neither party referred in the arbitration may constitute grounds to challenge the arbitration award. The principle of jura novit curia (ie, the court knows the law), which is applicable in court proceedings, should also apply in Swedish arbitration unless otherwise agreed by the parties.
The Supreme Court recently allowed for court proceedings despite a valid arbitration agreement between the parties, because the legal grounds invoked by the claimant were outside the scope of the arbitration agreement. The court confirmed the doctrine of assertion and clarified the doctrine of connection.
The Svea Court of Appeal recently rejected the Republic of Kazakhstan's request to declare invalid or set aside the arbitral award in Stati v Kazakhstan. In the award, a group of foreign investors was awarded substantial damages following the state's seizure of certain assets. The judgment indicates that it is possible to declare an arbitral award based on false evidence invalid due to public policy, provided that it is proven that the outcome of the case was influenced.
Sweden's arbitration-friendly approach has led the Swedish courts to deny only rarely an application for the recognition and enforcement of a foreign award. It was therefore noted with interest when the Svea Court of Appeal denied enforcement of a foreign award due to matters of public policy in Finants Collect v Heino Kumpula.
The Financial Supervisory Authority recently agreed on more stringent amortisation requirements for home mortgages. The debt burden on Swedish households has long been a concern for regulators, and the authority is now taking an activist approach in an effort to mitigate the risk of a widespread crisis in case of a downturn in the housing market.
A case regarding the enforceability of an electronic promissory note was recently decided by the Supreme Court. The court investigated whether the relevant electronic loan document was to be viewed as a non-negotiable or negotiable instrument, and settled that it was indeed a non-negotiable promissory note. This meant that the requirement to present an original document to the Enforcement Authority did not apply.
The Supreme Court recently clarified how to interpret joint and several liability when the creditor settles with one of the debtors and simultaneously releases that party from any future claims. The court concluded that the foundation of a joint and several liability between debtors is that the debtor that repays more than its pro rata share of a loan has a right to recover and claim the exceeding amount from the other debtor or debtors.
Consumer credit may be granted only after the creditor has assessed the consumer's creditworthiness. The assessment must be based on sufficient information, as stipulated in the EU Credit Directive and the Consumer Credit Act. However, neither the directive nor the act defines 'sufficient information'. In a recent Administrative Court case, the Consumer Agency argued that a creditworthiness assessment based on details from a creditor's scoring model did not give sufficient information.
The government recently issued directives for a commission of inquiry to analyse the market for crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending. As Sweden has yet to introduce regulations that explicitly address crowdfunding platforms or peer-to-peer lending, the directives contain instructions to consider which laws apply to the different forms of crowdfunding and whether new legislation and penalties are required.
According to case law, a party is entitled to reclaim transfers of funds if it is undisputed that the transfer has occurred and the transferee has failed to provide sufficient evidence that he or she is entitled to keep the funds. This general rule was recently disputed in a case regarding several transfers of funds from one business partner to another acting in a joint development project.
In December 2017 the Svea Court of Appeal dismissed an abuse of dominance damages claim against Telia Company AB. In 2013 Telia was fined for abusing its dominant position in the asymmetric digital subscriber line market by applying a margin squeeze on its competitors. Earlier in 2017 a follow-on claim by telecoms operator Yarps, based on the same infringement, was rejected by the Svea Court of Appeal.
After years of intense debate, a new government bill will give the Competition Authority greater decision-making powers in relation to notified mergers in Sweden. An official government report states that the authority's decision-making powers should lead to an increased incentive for fast, high-quality decision making and eliminate time losses that might arise as a result of the authority preparing a lawsuit instead of a decision.
Companies and individuals acting on the Swedish labour market should be aware of the delimitation in law between consultants and employees. Whether an individual is to be considered a company consultant or an employee will determine the applicability of employment protection and could have significant tax implications affecting both companies and private individuals.
The legislature recently amended the law known as 'Lex Laval', according to which the right to conduct collective actions against foreign labour stationed in Sweden has been limited. The amendments in Lex Laval, which entered into force in June 2017, bring expanded rights for Swedish trade unions through collective actions by demanding that workplaces with foreign labour be covered by Swedish collective agreements.
Calculating compensation for damages can be complicated. The Labour Court recently ruled on this matter and made three individuals and their company liable to pay damages of several million Swedish kroner. It is the first case of its type and magnitude to be tried by a court of the highest instance. The Supreme Court has also decided that the dispute in question is a labour dispute, not a civil claims case.
Following the government's recent finding that whistleblower protection must be improved, new legislation has entered into force. The new legislation has given Sweden its first act specifically on whistleblowing. While the Whistleblowing Act does not regulate any right for employees to blow the whistle about wrongdoing, it protects employees and temporary workers who report serious wrongdoings in their employer's business from retaliation.
The Supreme Court has ruled that under certain conditions a trade union may be liable for damages if industrial action has taken place in violation of the European Convention on Human Rights. Previously, the general opinion was that employers' organisations and trade unions could not be liable for such damage claims. The decision is particularly significant for small companies, which are more affected by such industrial action.