The English Court (the “Court“) has dismissed an application by Ukraine to set aside a court order permitting Russian investor, PAO Tatneft, to enforce an arbitral award against Ukraine.Â Ukraine argued that it was immune from the Court’s jurisdiction by virtue of the State Immunity Act 1978. The Court found that Ukraine had not waived its right to rely on state immunity arguments, despite not having raising them in the arbitration. However, it found that Ukraine had agreed to submit the disputes in question to arbitration under the Russia-Ukraine Bilateral Investment Treaty (the “BIT“) and was therefore not immune from proceedings in connection with the arbitration by virtue of s9(1) of the State Immunity Act 1978 (“SIA“).
International Arbitration Community Welcomes Argentina and Uruguay’s New International Commercial Arbitration Acts
On July 3, 2018, Uruguay passed its International Commercial Arbitration Act after its upper house, the Chamber of Senators, signed off the draft in May. A day later, it was Argentina’s turn. These enactments mark the final step of a long awaited reform of the Argentinean and Uruguayan arbitration legislations, and finally place them on an equal footing with neighbouring states.
Delhi High Court agrees to enforce CIETAC arbitral award against Indian company despite CIETAC split
In its decision of 4 July 2018, the Delhi High Court (“Court“) has agreed to enforce a China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC) award against an Indian company, despite the award debtor’s arguments that the dispute should have been referred to and administrated by the now independent Shanghai International Arbitration Centre (SHIAC), which until mid-2012 was the Shanghai Sub-Commission of CIETAC (“Shanghai Sub-Commission“). The Court’s decision is interesting not only in discussing the 2012 split of CIETAC, but also because it may provide some guidance on how Indian courts may, in future, deal with structural changes to other arbitral institutions, such as the very recent termination of the joint venture between LCIA and Mauritius (the LCIA-MIAC Arbitration Centre), or the Shenzhen Court of International Arbitration (SCIETAC/SCIA) and the Shenzhen Arbitration Commission (SAC) merger at the beginning of 2018. Last but not least, this decision reinforces a pro-enforcement approach of Indian courts in relation to foreign arbitral awards.
On 17 July 2018, the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) was formally signed during the EU-Japan summit in Tokyo. Â The EPA â€“ the largest free trade agreement ever negotiated by the EU â€“ has been years in the making and took significant time and effort to get to this stage. You can read more about the steps to date in our earlier post here.
The EPA aims to remove trade barriers between the EU and Japan, making it easier for firms to sell goods and services between the two economies. It will create the world’s largest open trade zone, covering nearly a third of global GDP, almost 40 percent of world trade and more than 600 million people.
The partnership also goes beyond trade, with wider social and political implications.Â Given its scope of coverage, the EPA may encourage the development of global trade rules consistent with EU and Japanese standards.Â The EPA also sends a powerful signal that two of the world’s largest economies explicitly reject trade protectionism. Continue reading
Herbert Smith Freehills has appointedÂ Christian LeathleyÂ to the role of US Head of International Arbitration in New York.
Christian, who is also the Head of the firm’s Latin America Group, is based in Herbert Smith Freehills’ New York office, where he has been based since 2015. Prior to relocating to the New York office Christian was based in the firm’s London office.
A highly-regarded international arbitration specialist with nearly 20 years of experience, Christian focuses his practice on international commercial and investment arbitration servicing clients’ interests in all countries throughout Latin America. He also regularly appears as an advocate before all major international arbitration tribunals, with particular experience in the practice of public international law.
Herbert Smith Freehills is accepting applications for short-term internships with the firm’s international arbitration group in Hong Kong. Three to four paid internship positions are open for three to four months each (not extendable), beginning in or around January, May and September 2019.
Interns will work alongside our Greater China international arbitration team. They will have a varied workload, including assisting with current arbitrations and other client work; arbitration-related research; writing blog posts and articles; producing arbitration-related internal know-how, and similar projects.
For more detail, please refer to the Herbert Smith Freehills Careers page (click “Apply Now” and search Hong Kong openings).
Applications must be submitted via the Careers page on or before 31 August 2018.
Announced during Paris Arbitration Week, AfricArb held its launch event in Paris on 14 June 2018. Dr Gregory Travaini, Senior Associate in Herbert Smith Freehills’ Hong Kong office, and co-founder of AfricArb, reports.
AfricArb is a non-profit organisation of young practitioners who share a common ambition to further the development of arbitration as an efficient and accessible method of dispute resolution on the African continent. According to AfricArb, the promotion of arbitration in Africa will have to be based on three main pillars: (i) the continued modernisation of arbitration rules and practice, (ii) a respect for the diversity of legal cultures on the African continent; and (iii) the involvement of actors inside and outside the continent, who will provide training and events to facilitate an exchange of views, information and knowledge.
Inside Arbitration: Issue #6 of the publication from Herbert Smith Freehillsâ€™ Global Arbitration Practice
We are delighted to share with you the latest issue of the publication from the Herbert Smith Freehills Global Arbitration Practice, Inside Arbitration.
In addition to sharing knowledge and insight about the markets and industries in which our clients operate, the publication offers personal perspectives of our international arbitration partners from across the globe.
The London Court of International Arbitration (the LCIA) and the Government of Mauritius have announced the termination of their joint venture which established the LCIA-MIAC Arbitration Centre. LCIA-MIAC was created in 2011 as a focal point for international arbitration in Africa. In terminating the joint venture both the LCIA and the Government of Mauritius have nonetheless restated their commitment to international arbitration both in and in relation to Africa.
The termination will take effect from 27 July 2018. Parties to contracts should not include provisions for LCIA-MIAC arbitration in their arbitration agreements after this date.
Reliance v Union of India: English Court confirms that there is no serious irregularity under s68(2)(a) if an issue of construction decided by the tribunal is “squarely in play”
In Reliance Industries Limited & Ors v The Union of India  EWHC 822 (Comm) the English commercial court (the Court) considered a number of challenges to parts of an arbitration award brought under sections 67, 68 and 69 of the Arbitration Act 1996 (the Â Act).
The decision provides useful guidance regarding the requirements to be satisfied should a party wish to challenge an award due to a “serious irregularity” under the Act. In particular, the Court confirmed that the general duty under s33 of the Act to give each party a reasonable opportunity to present its case was satisfied if the “essential building blocks” of the tribunal’s analysis and reasoning were in play in relation to an issue, even where the argument (in this case on a point of construction) was not articulated in the way adopted by the tribunal.
In addition to the issues discussed in this blog post, the Court considered the foreign act of state doctrine. This challenge is discussed in a post on our Public International Law Notes blog here.