Arbitration Links - Linklaters
  • Author: Julia Grothaus

Advocate General Wathelet endorses intra-EU BITs

27 September 2017 Julia Grothaus; Dr. Rupert Bellinghausen, Europe; Germany

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In a much anticipated opinion in Slovak Republic v Achmea BV (Case C-284/16), Advocate General (“AG”) Wathelet has fostered investor-state arbitration under bilateral investment treaties (“BITs”) between EU Member States (“intra-EU BITs”) by concluding that the arbitration clause in Article 8 of the 1991 Netherlands-Slovakia BIT is compatible with EU law, and that arbitral tribunals established thereunder may refer issues of EU law to the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) for preliminary rulings.

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Post-award challenges to impartiality and independence in Germany

13 September 2017 Julia Grothaus; Rupert Bellinghausen, Europe; Germany

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Both the setting aside of arbitral awards and the impartiality and independence of arbitrators and experts are recurring topics in international arbitration. They particularly converge when facts giving rise to doubts about impartiality and independence become known only after an arbitral award has been rendered. In a recent decision, the German Federal Court of Justice abandoned long-standing German case law and set aside an award after an expert nominated by the arbitral tribunal had failed to disclose facts relating to his impartiality and independence. As the relevant statutory provisions apply to both experts and arbitrators, the decision will be highly relevant for challenge and enforcement proceedings in Germany.

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Escalation Clauses: no longer a tripping hazard for arbitrations with seat in Germany?

01 December 2016 Julia Grothaus; Dr. Rupert Bellinghausen, Europe; Germany

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Escalation clauses need careful drafting to be enforceable and commercially useful. There is uncertainty as to the consequences of the parties’ non-compliance with escalation clauses providing for ‘final’ dispute resolution by means of arbitration. Will it affect the jurisdiction of the arbitral tribunal or the merits of the claim and can an arbitral award even be set aside? In two recent decisions, the German Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof) clarified that, in arbitral proceedings seated in Germany, an arbitral tribunal is entitled to assume jurisdiction irrespective of whether the parties complied with the escalation clause.

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