REUTERS | Denis Balibouse

On 11 January 2017, the Swiss government released its long-awaited draft bill on the revision of Chapter 12 of the Swiss Private International Law Act for public consultation. It governs international arbitration proceedings in Switzerland. The draft bill is intended to adapt the existing law to align it with case law developed by the Swiss Supreme Court over the last three decades. The consultation will end on 31 May 2017. The draft bill will then be submitted to the Swiss parliament.

Amongst the proposed amendments that are likely to spark debate is one concerning the language of setting-aside proceedings. Continue reading

REUTERS | Regis Duvignau

In May 2014, against the backdrop of vociferous debate about the nature of investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) and investment protection, the EU launched a consultation on its approach to substantive investment protections and ISDS in the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Notably, the European Commission’s consultation document focused on the balance between the right to regulate and substantive investment protections. It proposed a number of changes to features of investor-state arbitration. The “core issues” identified by the Commission from the responses appeared to be premised on the continuation of ISDS in a reformed version. Continue reading

REUTERS | Maxim Shemetov

It is no secret that arbitration can be expensive. Clearly, many parties do not take this into account when agreeing to an arbitration clause in a contract. But can the fact that the proceedings turn out to be too expensive for one of the parties be a ground for walking away from the agreed method of dispute resolution? Continue reading

REUTERS | Rupak De Chowdhuri

India has been largely the land of ad-hoc arbitration. Independent of the reasons often mooted, domestic institutions like the International Centre for Alterntive Dispute Resolution (ICADR) and the Indian Council of Arbitration (ICA) have had limited success and the only international institution, London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) sponsored LCIA India, recently wound up after having struggled to float in the Indian market. Despite the state of arbitral institutions, the number of arbitrations, both domestic and international, has swelled. And a bulk of this swell has been ad-hoc in nature. With a view to promoting institutional arbitration, the Government of India, in December 2016, set up a high powered committee, chaired by former Supreme Court Judge BN Srikrishna. Staffed with former judges, senior advocates and policy mandarins, the committee’s mandate is to examine and recommend ways to institutionalise international arbitration in India. Continue reading

REUTERS |

“You’re the voice, try and understand it,
Make a noise and make it clear.” John Farnham

On 2 February 2017, Hogan Lovells hosted a joint event with ArbitralWomen entitled “Winning Communication” in which a panel, including Julianne Hughes-Jennett, partner at Hogan Lovells, Tessa Wood, Senior Voice & Communication Coach at City Academy, Wendy Miles QC, global head of arbitration at Boies, Schiller and Flexner, and expert accountant Liz Perks, partner at Haberman Ilett, answered questions posed by Kate Wilford, senior associate at Hogan Lovells. Continue reading

REUTERS | Anindito Mukherjee

The relationship between international investment law and international human rights law has become increasingly relevant in recent years. How and to what extent a state should be permitted to rely on its human rights obligations to defend claims that it has breached its investment treaty obligations has, in particular, received significant attention. Less discussed, however, is how investment treaties may be used positively to enforce compliance with human rights obligations. Following the recent decision of the tribunal in Urbaser S.A. and Consorcio de Aguas Bilbao Bizkaia, Bilbao Biskaia Ur Partzuergoa v Argentina, this blog post considers the circumstances in which a state may be able to bring a counterclaim under an investment treaty against an investor for human rights violations. Continue reading

REUTERS | Yves Herman

At the end of last year, I had my first experience of conducting the advocacy in an international commercial arbitration. For the first time, I was up there in front of the tribunal, not just listening to what was being said and helping to locate documents, but making submissions and cross-examining witnesses. Continue reading