REUTERS | Leonhard Foeger

At the 12th arbitration, the panel gave to me: 12 investors investing, 11 funders funding, 10 pledgers pledging, nine arbitration clauses, eight arbitral seats, seven Yukos awards, six revised rule sets, five BITs, four NAFTA fall-outs, three arbitrators, two Brexit parties, and the Achmea controversy.*

As 2018 draws to a close, so the Practical Law Arbitration blog must hibernate over the Christmas break. We will be back rejuvenated in early January to kick-start what will undoubtedly be another bumper year.

Until that auspicious occasion, if Morecambe and Wise don’t tickle your fancy, why not kick back with some light reading material? Namely, our review of the ten most significant arbitration-related decisions from the English courts in 2018.

So, as we bid farewell to another year, all that remains is to thank our contributors for their excellent posts over the past 12 months. That and, of course, to wish all of them, and you, a very Merry Christmas and best wishes for 2019.

*With apologies to Frederic Austin. Also worth noting that the numbers in question are not necessarily accurate.


2018 has been a tumultuous year in the world of arbitration. The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has dealt a blow to European investment arbitration, trade policy under Donald Trump’s administration has rattled investors the world over, long-standing legal sagas have continued, and developments in arbitral rules and legislation have seen a continued focus on transparency, diversity and third party funding.

We summarise the major stories of 2018 and do our best to read the tea leaves to divine what arbitration practitioners can expect next year. Continue reading

REUTERS | Aziz Taher

Feeding back to arbitrators?

On 20 November 2018, about 50 participants attended Quadrant Chambers’ biannual international arbitration seminar. The topic for discussion and debate was “Feeding back to arbitrators”. The panel event was chaired by Simon Rainey QC of Quadrant Chambers and the speakers were Paula Hodges QC, head of global arbitration at Herbert Smith Freehills and future LCIA President, Damian Honey, Head of International Arbitration and Disputes at Holman Fenwick Willan, and Ruth Hosking of Quadrant Chambers. Continue reading

REUTERS | Pilar Olivares

As I anticipated in Part 1 of this blog, recent case law precedent of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Court of First Instance (the CFI) has revived the DIFC Courts’ role as a conduit jurisdiction for the recognition and enforcement of a domestic non-DIFC award for onward execution onshore. By way of reminder, in Isai v Isabelle, the CFI already confirmed the concurrent jurisdiction of the onshore Dubai and the offshore DIFC Courts for recognition and enforcement of a DIFC-LCIA award rendered in onshore Dubai (as the seat of the arbitration) even in the absence of any assets of the award debtor offshore. Continue reading



It is generally accepted that Brexit will not affect the conduct of arbitration claims in London as much as other areas of law. The legal framework of arbitration in the UK is not governed by EU law and it has the benefit of the New York Convention ensuring ongoing enforceability of arbitral awards. Continue reading

REUTERS | Mike Hutchings

The SOAS Arbitration in Africa Survey report published earlier this year has sought to compile data to test the perception, based on some anecdotal evidence, that African arbitration practitioners are under-represented in arbitrations relating to the Africa region. The survey gathered data from 191 African arbitration practitioners on their participation in domestic and international arbitration over the period 2012-2017. Continue reading

REUTERS | Murad Sezer

On 15 November 2018, in apparent disbelief at the deal which he had helped negotiate, the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, Dominic Raab, beat an impressive retreat into political oblivion.

When some of our politicians seem immune to their state responsibilities, what better time is there to consider the application of state immunity in the context of arbitration enforcement? Continue reading

REUTERS | Darrin Zammit Lupi

The most recent case law of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Court of First Instance (the CFI) (see Chenshan Liu v Dubai Waterfront LLC) shows that the DIFC as a conduit is alive and kicking. This is despite fears that the DIFC Courts’ role as a conduit jurisdiction for the recognition and enforcement of onshore non-DIFC awards in offshore DIFC for onward execution against assets of award debtors in onshore Dubai might be moribund. Continue reading