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Doing justice in the face of a global pandemic
  • International
  • 06 August 2020

The resilience and innovation shown by the international arbitration community in recent months should be applauded. In the face of significant adversity, new and improved ways to resolve disputes and maintain access to efficient and effective justice have emerged. Notwithstanding the terrible circumstances that provided the impetus, recent months have disrupted the status quo and challenged normative beliefs around how disputes can and should be resolved.

Ready, set, off: Warsaw Court of Appeals confirms tribunal's jurisdiction over set-off claims
Kubas Kos Gałkowski
  • Poland
  • 23 July 2020

The issue of an arbitral tribunal's jurisdiction over set-off claims that are not covered by an arbitration agreement is controversial, with the rules differing from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. In a recent judgment, the Warsaw Court of Appeals held that even if a set-off claim is based on an agreement that is outside the scope of an arbitration agreement, the tribunal must determine the set-off's effects on the main claim raised in the proceedings.

Supreme Court scrutinises decision awarding costs to losing party
Graf & Pitkowitz Rechtsanwalte GmbH
  • Austria
  • 16 July 2020

The Supreme Court recently considered whether a final arbitral award on the reimbursement of costs violated Austrian public policy. The claimant had ultimately succeeded in the arbitration conducted under the rules of the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce. Nevertheless, the cost decision ordered it to reimburse the respondent's costs. The Supreme Court dismissed the claimant's request to set aside the cost decision.

Two instances in which statutory regime amounts to deference of arbitration
William KW Leung & Co
  • Hong Kong
  • 16 July 2020

The Hong Kong courts' pro-arbitration attitude is evident from the continuous refinement of their dispute resolution mechanism. Such efforts are distinctly remarkable in commercial contexts, as demonstrated by the dynamics between the statutory company regime and the arbitration regime. Observing such intriguing interplay between the two regimes, this article examines recent decisions in disputes arising from corporate affairs and disputes relating to insolvency.

Patent illegality: Supreme Court travels a long road to tame a herd of unruly horses
Khaitan & Co
  • India
  • 16 July 2020

The patent illegality ground was formally introduced to the Arbitration and Conciliation Act 1996 by way of the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Act 2015. Prior to 2015, the scope of this ground of challenge was set out in various Supreme Court decisions stemming from Oil & Natural Gas Corporation Ltd v Saw Pipes Ltd. This article examines the genesis of patent illegality and tracks its trajectory from Oil & Natural Gas Corporation.

Arbitration under special statutes with regard to contractual stipulations
Khaitan & Co
  • India
  • 09 July 2020

The freedom to contract principle forms the basis of the Contract Act, and a similar principle is also provided for in the Arbitration and Conciliation Act. However, the question often arises as to what happens when one party – despite a contractual agreement setting out the scope and ambit of arbitration – seeks recourse to remedies provided for under a special statute. This article examines this issue in view of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Act.

Enforcement of foreign arbitral awards and scope of judicial intervention: a minimalist approach
Khaitan & Co
  • India
  • 02 July 2020

The enforcement of a foreign arbitral award in India is founded on the fundamental principle of minimal judicial intervention in order to further India's pro-arbitration and consequently pro-foreign investment climate. However, the Delhi High Court recently refused to enforce a foreign arbitral award under the Arbitration and Conciliation Act. This article analyses the court's decision, its reasons for refusing the enforcement of the award and whether this judgment is a step back for Indian arbitration law.

High Court rejects challenge to enforcement where defences were already raised before foreign court
Clifford Chance
  • United Kingdom
  • 02 July 2020

The High Court recently dismissed a challenge to a previous decision to grant permission to enforce a Stockholm Chamber of Commerce award on the basis that contrary to the defendant's contention, there was a valid arbitration agreement between the parties and the defendant's arguments as to procedural irregularity had previously been raised in Swedish court proceedings, thereby giving rise to an issue estoppel.

First annulment of investment arbitration award by Supreme Court
Tavernier Tschanz
  • Switzerland
  • 02 July 2020

In a recently published decision, the Supreme Court – for the first time – partially annulled an arbitral award issued in an investment arbitration. A Geneva-based arbitral tribunal, which was constituted under the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law Arbitration Rules, had wrongly declined jurisdiction to decide an investment treaty claim brought by Clorox España SL against Venezuela.

Foreign arbitral award allows exit based on put option? "No worries" says Bombay High Court
Khaitan & Co
  • India
  • 25 June 2020

The Bombay High Court recently passed an order in favour of the enforcement of a foreign arbitral award which had been rendered by an arbitral tribunal constituted under the Singapore International Arbitration Centre Arbitration Rules. The award upheld the validity and performance of a put option created pursuant to a share subscription agreement and a put option deed, which provided a foreign investor with an exit from its investment in an Indian company on agreed terms and conditions.

Positive aspects of arbitration during COVID-19 crisis
Becerril Coca & Becerril SC
  • Mexico
  • 18 June 2020

Since 11 March 2020 dispute resolution in Mexico has been significantly affected due to the COVID-19 crisis. In such exceptional circumstances, alternative dispute resolution has taken on greater importance, as it offers parties the chance to continue proceedings (with restrictions) as efficiently as possible without having to wait for the judicial branch to resume operations.

New York Convention does not prohibit enforcement by non-signatory under doctrine of equitable estoppel
Norton Rose Fulbright
  • USA
  • 11 June 2020

The US Supreme Court has unanimously held that the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards does not prohibit US courts from applying the domestic law doctrine of equitable estoppel when determining whether an international arbitration clause can be enforced by a non-signatory to compel arbitration. In doing so, the court effectively extended the holding in Arthur Andersen LLP to international arbitrations under Chapter 2 of the Federal Arbitration Act.

Unbreakable deadlock in consumer disputes: mandatory mediation and solution proposals
  • Turkey
  • 11 June 2020

Bill 2/2735, which has been presented to the president of the Grand National Assembly, proposes that actions filed directly before the consumer courts be subject to mandatory mediation before proceeding to court adjudication. This article examines Turkey's success with regard to the fair and swift resolution of consumer disputes and explores how the bill can add to this success.

Court of Appeal clarifies principles for determining law of arbitration agreement
Clifford Chance
  • United Kingdom
  • 04 June 2020

In a recent decision, the Court of Appeal granted an anti-suit injunction restraining the defendants from pursuing Russian court proceedings in breach of a London arbitration clause. In reaching this decision, the court clarified the principles for ascertaining the law governing an arbitration agreement where the contract does not contain an express choice of such law and the main contract law differs from the law of the seat.

Application and interpretation of Article IV of New York Convention
  • Cyprus
  • 04 June 2020

In recent years there has been a substantial number of cases in which the courts have had to determine whether applicants seeking the recognition and enforcement of an arbitral award have complied with the requirements set out in Article IV of the New York Convention, which the Supreme Court has ruled must be strictly satisfied. The principles highlighted in this article should help to shed light on the courts' interpretation and application of Article IV.

Anti-arbitration injunctions: use and controversy
Khaitan & Co
  • India
  • 04 June 2020

While anti-suit injunctions are typical court-ordered injunction orders which restrain the parties from initiating or continuing legal action in foreign courts, anti-arbitration injunctions are specific orders which prohibit parties from initiating or continuing arbitration proceedings. As the Indian courts may assume jurisdiction and grant anti-arbitration injunctions even though they seem to weaken the competence-competence principle, these injunctions are highly controversial.

Supreme Court refuses foreign award enforcement – return of public policy challenge
Khaitan & Co
  • India
  • 21 May 2020

The Supreme Court recently refused enforcement of a foreign award on the basis that it was contrary to the fundamental public policy of India. Although a recent decision, the dispute arose almost 40 years ago and thus pertains to an era which preceded the amendment of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act. In its decision, the court analysed the concept of public policy and the difference between contingent contracts and frustration as a principle for voidability of contracts under the Contract Act.

Way forward for corporate arbitration
Allen & Overy LLP
  • Slovakia
  • 21 May 2020

The arbitration court of the Slovak Bar Association (SBA) recently adopted new corporate dispute resolution rules. The SBA arbitration court is one of the most prominent arbitral institutions in Slovakia and the first to adopt specific rules for corporate disputes. The new framework aims to pave the way for more effective and specialised resolution of corporate disputes.

Does Article 1466 of the Code of Civil Procedure include 'estoppel'?
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
  • France
  • 14 May 2020

The First Civil Chamber of the Court of Cassation recently overruled a Paris Court of Appeal decision and determined that there was no basis for the argument that Antrix Corporation Ltd had not made certain procedural objections during arbitration and therefore could not raise them in enforcement proceedings. The decision raises interesting questions about the nature of the 'waiver' contemplated in the Code of Civil Procedure.

Determining applicable law: role of arbitral tribunals
Khaitan & Co
  • India
  • 14 May 2020

If the parties to a contract fail to choose the applicable law, the task trickles down to the arbitral tribunal. This will be one of the first tasks required of an arbitral tribunal, as adjudication of a dispute is not possible until the applicable law has been determined. Further, the application of an incorrect law is a ground for setting aside an arbitral award. This article examines the role of an arbitral tribunal in determining the applicable law in arbitration proceedings.

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