Arbitration Links - Linklaters
  • Year: 2019

English High Court reviews scope of appeals on a point of law

19 September 2019 Hannah Lilley, England & Wales

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In Martin & Ors v Harris [2019] EWHC 1962 (Ch) the English High Court (Chancery Division) set aside an arbitral award pursuant to s 69 of the Arbitration Act 1996 (the “1996 Act”). In reaching its decision, Mr Michael Green QC, sitting as a Deputy Judge of the Chancery Division, held that a s 69 appeal on a point of law may succeed where a tribunal correctly states the law, but does not then apply those legal principles correctly.

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Business and Human Rights Arbitration: Widening the net of remedies

11 September 2019 Suleyman Wellings-Longmore, Africa; Asia-Pacific; Europe; Latin America; Middle East; North America

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International arbitration moves closer to becoming a forum for business and human rights (“BHR”) disputes with the publication of draft BHR arbitral rules. Whilst some technical considerations remain, BHR arbitration offers many exciting advantages to current dispute resolution mechanisms and would be a welcome option for many.

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English Commercial Court rejects section 68 application based on inadequate reasons in arbitral award

23 August 2019 Andrew Clark, England & Wales

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In Islamic Republic of Pakistan and Ors v Broadsheet LLC [2019] EWHC 1832 (Comm), the English High Court dismissed an application made under section 68 of the Arbitration Act, 1996 (the “Act”), holding that insufficient reasoning by arbitrators in their award does not amount to a serious irregularity under section 68(2)(c) or (h) of the Act.

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Foreign Arbitral Institutions enter the Russian Arbitration market

12 August 2019 Valeria Romanova, Russia

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As reported in an earlier blog post, significant amendments to the Law on Arbitration came into force in Russia back in September 2016.

One of the key changes brought about by the arbitration reform includes the introduction of a new regime for recognition of arbitral institutions established by various industry associations (those being non-commercial organisations) as “permanent arbitral institutions” (“PAIs”). This process is subject to the forum meeting statutory conditions and receiving an approval from the Russian Government to perform these functions.

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Experts publish “toolkit” to help arbitrators deal with issues of corruption and money laundering

06 August 2019 Adrien Canivet, Asia-Pacific; Europe; Latin America; Middle East; North America

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On 30 May, the University of Basel’s Competence Centre - Arbitration and Crime and the Basel Institute on Governance (a not-for profit organisation) jointly published a toolkit to assist arbitrators dealing with issues or corruption and money laundering. The toolkit is the product of a 2-year consultation process involving regulators, arbitrators, lawyers, forensics, and academics.

It is commonplace to say that arbitrators confronted with allegations or suspicions of economic crime face difficult challenges as they must balance their duties to the parties with public policy rules and lack the investigative powers of the state. The purpose of the toolkit is to help arbitrators address these challenges in a comprehensive manner and find solutions in accordance with applicable laws. This article summarises its key aspects.

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The latest on ICSID’s Rule Amendment Project

24 July 2019 Sadie Buls, Africa; Asia-Pacific; Europe; Latin America; North America

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Last month, the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) published its second compendium of state and public comments on proposed amendments to its procedural rules for resolving international investment disputes. This is the latest development in ICSID’s rule amendment project which was formally launched in 2017.  

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Anti-arbitration injunctions considered by the English Court of Appeal

18 July 2019 Stephen Lacey, England & Wales; Europe

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In Sabbagh v Khoury and others [2019] EWCA Civ 1219, the Court of Appeal reviewed the extent to which an English court may grant an injunction to restrain parties from participating in an arbitration with an overseas seat.

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English High Court sets aside award as tribunal failed to act fairly and impartially

08 July 2019 Benja Arnott, England & Wales

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In P v D and Ors [2019] EWHC 1277 (Comm), the English High Court granted an application made under Section 68 of the Arbitration Act 1996 (the “Act”), on the basis that the arbitrators were in breach of their duty under Section 33 of the Act to act fairly and impartially.

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Micula Case: The General Court Quashes the Commission’s Decision and Rules that the Award is Not State Aid

20 June 2019 Guillaume Croisant, Europe

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In a striking new episode of the long-running Micula saga, the General Court of the CJEU has quashed the European Commission’s 2015 decision that Romania’s payment of the €178 million award rendered by an ICSID tribunal back in 2013 would constitute illegal State aid in the meaning of Article 107 of the TFEU. In its judgment rendered this week, the General Court considered that the award recognised a right to compensation for the investors existing before Romania’s accession to the EU. As a result, the Commission was precluded to apply EU State aid rules to this situation, at least with respect to the pre-accession period. The General Court’s decision can be appealed before the Court of Justice.

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Arbitral tribunal lacked substantive jurisdiction when appointed after a party ceased to exist

12 June 2019 England & Wales; Europe

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In Chung v Silver Dry Bulk Co Ltd [2019] EWHC 1147 (Comm) the English Commercial Court granted an application challenging the substantive jurisdiction of an arbitral tribunal appointed after the dissolution of the defendant corporation.

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English High Court provides guidance on leave to appeal applications under s.69 Arbitration Act 1996

07 June 2019 Airlie Goodman, England & Wales; Europe

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In Merthyr (South Wales) Ltd v Cwmbargoed Estates Ltd and another [2019] EWHC 704 (Ch) the English High Court rejected an application for leave to appeal against an arbitral award on a point of law under s.69 of the Arbitration Act 1996. In his judgment, HHJ Paul Matthews discussed the mechanics of obtaining such leave, particularly the requirement under s.69(3)(c)(i) of the Act that the decision of the arbitrator to make the award being challenged be “obviously wrong”.

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Live stream: ICC YAF: The psychology of decision-making in international arbitration

23 May 2019 Cezary Wisniewski; Alicja Zielinska-Eisen, Africa; Asia-Pacific; Europe; Latin America; Middle East; North America; Poland

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On Friday, May 24 at 15:00 CET, the Warsaw office of Linklaters hosted the latest ICC Young Arbitrators Forum conference titled “The psychology of decision-making in international arbitration”. The conference opened with a keynote presentation by Dr. Ula Cartwright-Finch, an international arbitration specialist with a PhD in Cognitive Psychology, and a thought leader in legal psychology. A panel discussion followed addressing questions such as what factors influence arbitrators’ decisions, how does diversity within a group impact its performance, and how reliable is a witness’ memory?

We live-streamed this event. For more details, including on how to watch, please click through to the full article.

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Publication of ICC Commission Report on Emergency Arbitrator Proceedings

21 May 2019 Ben Carroll, Africa; Asia-Pacific; Europe; Latin America; Middle East; North America

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The Task Force on Emergency Arbitrator Proceedings and the ICC Commission on Arbitration recently released a report on emergency arbitrator proceedings. The report aims to identify emerging trends based on a review of, inter alia, the ICC filings for emergency arbitrators since 2012 (Annex I) and the ICC National Committees’ responses to questionnaires on local law (Annex II).

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Arbitration and meeting the demands of the future energy sector

14 May 2019 Roland Ziade; Pierre Duprey, Asia-Pacific; Europe; Latin America; Middle East; North America

Last month, Dispute Resolution partners Pierre Duprey and Roland Ziade took the opportunity to discuss their views on the implications of the global energy transition on international arbitration in a guest blog for the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). 

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Interim Relief from Mainland Chinese Court will become available for Hong Kong Arbitrations

08 May 2019 Justin Tang, Asia-Pacific; Hong Kong

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On 2 April 2019, the Hong Kong Government and the Mainland Supreme People’s Court signed the Arrangement Concerning Mutual Assistance in Court-ordered Interim Measures in Aid of Arbitral Proceedings by the Courts of the Mainland and of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (the “Arrangement”). Once implemented, the Arrangement will allow parties to arbitral proceedings seated in Hong Kong to apply, at any time before an arbitral award is made, to Mainland courts for interim measures including property preservation, evidence preservation and conduct preservation.

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The CJEU Confirms that CETA’s Investment Court System is Compatible with EU Law

03 May 2019 Guillaume Croisant, Europe

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In September 2017, Belgium requested the opinion of the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) on the compatibility with EU law of the Investment Court System (“ICS”) provided for by the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between the EU and Canada (“CETA”). 

Last January, Advocate General Bot concluded that this mechanism for the settlement of investor-State disputes was compatible with the EU Treaties and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. The CJEU followed suit in its much anticipated opinion delivered this week.

An adverse opinion would have had serious political consequences, as it would have required the amendment of CETA (pursuant to Article 218(11) of the TFEU), and potentially brought grist to the mill of part of the European civil society opposing investor-State arbitration.

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Highlights from the 2018 LCIA Annual Casework Report

30 April 2019 Phillip Aquilina, England & Wales; Europe

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The LCIA released its 2018 Casework Report on 1 April 2019. The Report analyses the statistics from the LCIA 2018 caseload and contains a range of data broken down by sector, contract type and time elapsed since the underlying agreement was reached.

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Judicial protection of investors in the EU: remedies offered by investment arbitration, the ECHR and EU law

17 April 2019 Guillaume Croisant; Xavier Taton, Europe

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Partner Xavier Taton and associate Guillaume Croisant, both from our Brussels office, have contributed to the Indian Journal of Arbitration Law.

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The publication of ICC Awards – New Approach to ICC Awards

10 April 2019 Akshay Sewlikar, Europe

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The ICC has recently released its Note to Parties and Arbitral Tribunals on the Conduct of the Arbitration under the ICC Rules of Arbitration (the “Note”). The Note intends to provide parties and tribunals with practical guidance on ICC arbitrations. It provides clarifications on various practical issues and concerns in an ICC arbitration, such as inter alia, the expedited arbitration procedure, scrutiny of the award and the submissions by amicus curiae.

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English High Court partially grants non-party request for documents relating to proceedings to remove arbitrator

04 April 2019 Hannah Lilley, England & Wales

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The English Commercial Court has allowed, in part, a non-party to access documents that were used in Commercial Court proceedings in support of an arbitration to remove an arbitrator, despite arbitration proceedings in England ordinarily giving rise to confidentiality obligations.

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Financial Services Disputes @ London International Disputes Week

22 March 2019 Stephen Lacey, Europe

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Linklaters is excited to be hosting the London International Disputes Week (LIDW) seminar devoted to financial services disputes – which will take place on 7 May 2019 (14.00-17.00) at One Silk Street, London, EC2Y 8HQ.

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Swedish Arbitration Act revised: making arbitration more efficient and easily accessible

14 March 2019 Niclas Widjeskog; Maja Bjerkelund, Europe

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On 1 March 2019, the revised Swedish Arbitration Act entered into effect following a nearly five-year long legislative process to update the Swedish Arbitration Act of 1999.

The revised Act aims to make the arbitration process more efficient and easily accessible, especially for non-Swedish parties, and ensures that Stockholm continues to be an attractive venue for international arbitration. The revisions strengthen party autonomy and provide for an efficient process which further facilitates the needs of international arbitration.

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ICSID compendium of comments on proposed rule amendments and 2018 caseload statistics

28 February 2019 Sadie Buls, Asia-Pacific; Europe; Latin America; Middle East; North America

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Last month, the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) published a compendium of state and public comments on proposed amendments to its procedural rules for resolving international investment disputes. It also issued a press release announcing its most recent caseload statistics, including details on the geography, industry and outcomes of new cases.

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AG Bot concludes that CETA’s Investment Court System is compatible with EU law

21 February 2019 Guillaume Croisant, Europe

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On 7 September 2017, Belgium requested the opinion of the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) on the compatibility with EU law of the Investment Court System (“ICS”) provided for by the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between the EU and Canada (“CETA”).

In his much anticipated opinion rendered on 29 January 2019, Advocate General (“AG”) Bot considers that this mechanism for the settlement of investor-State disputes is compatible with the EU Treaties and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.

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Hong Kong introduces Third Party Funding for Arbitration

11 February 2019 Glenys Newall, Hong Kong

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The Hong Kong Government has announced that amendments to the Arbitration Ordinance, allowing for third party funding of arbitration in Hong Kong, will come into effect on 1 February 2019. This is a long awaited and highly anticipated development. In addition, in accordance with the provisions of Division 4 of part 10A of the Arbitration Ordinance, the Hong Kong Government has released a “Code of Practice for Third Party Funding of Arbitration”.

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London Commercial Court: Service by diplomatic channels is mandatory to enforce award against a State in the UK

06 February 2019 Adrien Canivet, England & Wales; Middle East

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In General Dynamics UK Ltd v Libya Queen's Bench Division [2019] EWHC 64 (Comm), the English Commercial Court held that an arbitral award against a State cannot be enforced in the United Kingdom without service on that State of court documents in accordance with s.12 of the State Immunity Act 1978.

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EU Member States announce their intention to terminate intra-EU BITs

30 January 2019 Kirstin Schwedt, Europe

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In early January, the EU Member States announced their intention to terminate all intra-EU bilateral investment treaties. Their declarations come in reaction to last year’s Achmea-decision on intra-EU investor-state dispute settlement. Interestingly, the EU Member States could not agree on a unitary position regarding the Energy Charter Treaty.

How will these political declarations impact pending arbitrations, or those initiated before the EU Member States put in place a new regime?

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Investment protection under the USMCA

22 January 2019 Akshay Sewlikar, Latin America; North America

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After protracted negotiations which have been covered extensively in the press, the US signed the new United States, Mexico and Canada Agreement (“USMCA”) with Mexico and Canada on 30 November 2018. The USMCA replaces the North American Free Trade Agreement 1994 (“NAFTA”) which had governed trade relations between the parties. The investment provisions were contained in Chapter 11 of NAFTA and applied to all investments and investors of any party.  Subject to specific carve outs, all such investments were subject to the dispute settlement provisions in Chapter 11 which provided for investor-state arbitration.  The proposed investment regime in Chapter 14 of USMCA is a significant departure from its equivalent Chapter 11 of NAFTA. 

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U.S. Supreme Court: No FAA “wholly groundless” exception to tribunal’s jurisdiction over questions of arbitrability

15 January 2019 Christian Albanesi; Adam Lurie, United States of America

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The U.S. Supreme Court has issued a unanimous ruling holding that courts may not decide issues of arbitrability where the underlying arbitration agreement delegates such determinations to the arbitrator, even where the arbitration bid is argued to be “wholly groundless.”  The decision—which resolved a long-running split among lower courts—is further evidence of a continuing U.S. trend in favor of parties’ rights to contract for arbitration.

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Proposed Amendments to the Indian Arbitration and Conciliation Act 1996

11 January 2019 Akshay Sewlikar, India

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The arbitration regime in India is primarily governed by the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (“Act”). On 10 August 2018, the lower house of India’s bi-cameral parliament (Lok Sabha) passed the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill, 2018 (“Bill”). The Bill now has to, inter alia, be passed by the upper house (Rajya Sabha) before it becomes law and amends the Act. However, substantial changes to the Bill are not expected at this stage. In its current form, the Bill seeks to introduce key changes which may impact international arbitrations seated in India, as we discuss in this article.  

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