Technology has a thorny reputation in arbitration circles. Practitioners distrust it, clients don’t want to pay for it and tribunals often prefer paper. All of this adds up to many hours at the photocopier and late-night bundle-checking for the more junior members of the team. Continue reading


This blog discusses the resolution of Islamic banking and finance disputes in a modern world of dispute resolution, in which litigation and arbitration as the main contentious forms of dispute resolution contend for taking prime position before any other form of dispute resolution. Given the high degree of specialty required in the resolution of disputes arising from more modern complex financial products, arbitration has more recently moved to the fore in this area of practice. This trend has also been strengthened by an increased offering of Islamic finance products, which in turn has spurred the need for Shari’a-compliant dispute resolution. Continue reading

REUTERS | Christian Hartmann

The ICC International Court of Arbitration (ICC) has recently announced that the ICC Report on Emergency Arbitrator Proceedings (report) will be released on 3 April 2019, as a part of the Paris Arbitration Week 2019. Considering the previous comprehensive analysis of the emergency arbitrator provisions was undertaken in 2014 when a study was conducted on the first ten emergency arbitrator cases (first emergency arbitrator report), an updated, more detailed report would be a welcome move. The report promises to analyse all aspects, including procedural and substantive issues, which may arise in emergency arbitrator proceedings. It will be based on an empirical study of the first 80 applications that have been filed with the ICC since the inception of the emergency arbitrator provisions.

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REUTERS | Ali Jarekji

Whether it is in the context of a jurisdiction challenge or by way of response to an application to restrain proceedings said to be in breach of an arbitration agreement, the wording of the arbitration clause is the usual starting point for determining the arbitrability of a dispute. The courts will be generous in their construction of an arbitration clause guided by the now well-known principles found in Fiona Trust, namely that: Continue reading

REUTERS | Jim Urquhart

Earlier this month the International Arbitration Centre (IAC), a welcome addition to London’s arbitration infrastructure, opened its doors on Fleet Street. The opening of the IAC is a natural corollary of increasing competition in the “market for justice” in international dispute resolution. This competition has long existed between different arbitral seats and has encouraged jurisdictions to become more “arbitration friendly”, either through amendments to their arbitration laws or through improvements to their general infrastructure such as hearing venues. Continue reading

REUTERS | Toby Melville

It was widely predicted that the decision of the English Court of Appeal in Halliburton v Chubb last year would act as a spur to, rather than a break on, challenges to arbitrators on grounds of impartiality. The recent decision of the Commercial Court in Soletanche Bachy France S.A.S. v Aqaba Container Terminal (PVT) Co provides a number of insights into how the English courts will approach such applications, both in arbitrations generally and in ICC arbitrations in particular. Continue reading

REUTERS | Mike Hutchings

South Africa’s recent adoption of the UNCITRAL Model Law for the purposes of international arbitration has been widely celebrated. In a jurisdiction where the statutory framework for the conduct of, and approach to, arbitration had all but stagnated, this move heralds a welcome alignment with global best practice and positions South Africa to become a preferred seat for the resolution of disputes across Africa. Continue reading

REUTERS | Ahmed Jadallah

Part 1 of this blog provided a brief introduction to the existing landscape of investment legislation in the Gulf Corporation Council (GCC) countries, highlighting that Bahrain is presently the only country that remains without a precise investment regime. This Part 2 aims to provide an overview of the main provisions of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Federal Decree Law No. 19/2018 on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI Law), which entered into force on 1 October 2018, including its dispute resolution provisions. The FDI Law is dedicated to the promotion of inflows of foreign direct investment into the UAE. As such, the FDI law aims for both industrial and service-sector diversification in anticipation of steadily diminishing oil resources. It does not apply to the free zones, whether financial (such as the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM)) or non-financial (such as the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC)). Article 2(3) of the FDI Law allows the acquisition of 100% foreign ownership in digression from the general rule under the UAE Commercial Companies Code that restricts foreign onshore ownership to 49% and requires a majority local partner. Continue reading