International arbitration is, by its very nature, multi-jurisdictional. The international element could come from the parties being located in different jurisdictions, or perhaps having elected to refer disputes to a forum connected to a jurisdiction common to one, all or none of them. There are many factors that play into this decision. For example, one party may want ‘home court’ advantage, or be concerned as to the limit of remedies available in the jurisdiction where the underlying work is taking place. Another party may be more familiar with dispute resolution within a specific jurisdiction, or have easier access to resources if a dispute is determined in a certain place. The overlay to this is the governing law agreed between the parties – it is not unusual for an arbitration tribunal in one jurisdiction to determine a claim governed by the laws of another jurisdiction. The governing law and jurisdiction can be entirely unrelated to the location of the subject matter of the contract.
To read the full text of this post by Duane Morris attorney Chris Recker, please visit the Duane Morris International Arbitration Blog.
In a previous blog, we looked at diversity, specifically in relation to gender parity, in the context of adjudication. Although we have come a long way in this arena, the issue of gender diversity still casts a long shadow. It should therefore be no surprise that the world of arbitration suffers much of the same problem.
Continue reading “The Glass Ceiling Looms Large – Gender Diversity in Arbitration”
By Oliver Kent
Picture this. You are a Director at a substantial widget manufacturing company. One of your key materials suppliers, with whom you’ve had a relationship for many years, is causing you grief. There have been a number of complaints from customers in recent times about a decline in widget quality, which appear to be the fault of your supplier. However, you’re behind on your payments to the supplier and they are starting to threaten supply, with disastrous effects for the company. A dispute is brewing.
You have been involved with litigation before and have experience of court proceedings. However, when you check with your legal team about next steps, you learn that your agreement with the supplier contains a clause which appears to indicate that all disputes must be referred to arbitration. The clause is perhaps not drafted with the certainty it should and could have been, and it is not clear the extent to which it is enforceable. The issue usually is framed on the basis of whether there is a valid and enforceable agreement to refer disputes to arbitration.
There are also commercial considerations that may be relevant. Is it preferable to litigate in the domestic courts or arbitrate? This may be a commercial call, just as much as a legal one. This blog shares some of the practical considerations around these issues.
Continue reading “Jurisdictional challenges and arbitration clauses – that old chestnut! – The UK perspective”
By Vijay Bange and Sam Laycock
In a previous blog we discussed the salient points arising from the report arising from a collaboration between The Adjudication Society and Kings College London. This report addresses the issue of diversity in adjudication.
The Construction industry has frequently been cited as a sector with a lack of diversity. Poor gender diversity in particular and a lack of initiatives within the sector have been recognised by those within arbitration, with a number of organisations such as Arbitral Women and the International Council for Commercial Arbitration Task Force (to name a few), driving for better representation in the arbitration sphere. Continue reading “The Equal Representation in Adjudication Pledge & Women in Adjudication”
The impact and uncertainty caused by the Achmea case on investor state dispute settlement provisions contained in intra-EU Bilateral Investment Treaties continues. These issues are potentially far reaching and may extend further than originally envisaged, namely that this case was arguably specific to the BIT between Netherlands and Slovakia. Continue reading ““So long, farewell, auf Weidersehen…” Is This the End of Intra-EU BIT Arbitrations?”
By Steve Nichol and Tanya Chadha
Cairn Energy’s dispute with the Indian Government has made headlines across the globe. The case serves as a useful reminder to foreign investors of the benefits of using bilateral investment treaties to obtain relief in circumstances where they have been unfairly treated by governments in foreign jurisdictions.
The origins of this dispute lie in a separate, but similar case between Vodafone and the Indian Government, arising out of Vodafone’s purchase of a majority share of a company, Hutchison Whampoa, in 2007. Hutchison owned substantial assets in India, and the Indian Government contended that Vodafone owed capital gains and withholding tax, based on India’s 1961 Income Tax Act. Vodafone disputed the Government’s interpretation of the Act. Continue reading “Cairn Energy v India: A lesson in BIT rights and enforcement”
By Vijay Bange
Adjudicators and Arbitrators are occasionally faced with a situation where one of the parties refuses to engage in the process. In such circumstances tribunals are left in a difficult position to ensure fairness and have regard to due process, whilst also giving careful consideration as to whether it is just and appropriate to continue the process. Ultimately, however, the reluctance of one party to engage should not deprive the other of their legal and contractual rights.
A peculiar position came before Mr. Justice Andrew Baker, in Shell Energy Europe Limited and Meta Energia SpA  EWHC 1799. This case concerned the Defendant’s application to set aside a previous order made by Teare J, made under s. 66 of the Arbitration Act 1996, granting the Claimant leave to enforce an award of arbitration dated 4 December 2019. The award in favour of the Claimant was for EUR 19,712,077.20. The seat of the arbitration was London, and it was under the LCIA Rules. The Defendant participated with the arbitration fully until the final stages; however, on 19 September 2019, with a two-day final hearing set for 25-26 September 2019, the Defendant dismissed its solicitors and counsel, on the basis (according to the CEO) that it was not satisfied with the way the legal team had pursued or presented the defence. The next day, the Defendant retained new solicitors, and the arbitrators granted an adjournment of the final hearing to 8-9 October 2019. Continue reading “The reluctant party – failure to participate in final arbitration hearing because of inability to find QC”
By Vijay Bange
A Company v XYZ  EWHC 809 (TCC)
- The expert witness owed a fiduciary duty of loyalty, arising out of an engagement to provide expert witness services, advice and support in connection with an arbitration.
- The court allowed the continuation of an existing interim injunction refraining the defendant consultancy expert practice from providing expert services to another party in the arbitration.
Continue reading “Expert witnesses owe a fiduciary duty of loyalty to clients”