No contract, no arbitration agreement? The separability principle explained

In DHL Project & Chartering Ltd v Gemini Ocean Shipping Co. Ltd [2022] EWCA 1555, the Court of Appeal considered whether an arbitration agreement was binding on the parties in circumstances where a pre-condition to the effectiveness of the contract had not been satisfied. In dismissing the application to set aside the arbitral award for … Read more

Landmark ruling of Germany’s Constitutional Court: Arbitration Clause Violates Access to Justice

In a long-awaited landmark ruling in a case concerning the German ice-skating champion Claudia Pechstein, the German Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht) has found that the mandatory arbitration clause of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (“CAS“) violated the athlete’s constitutional right of access to justice pursuant to Art. 2(1) in conjunction with Art. 20(3) of … Read more

Hong Kong Court of Appeal rules on landmark case regarding escalation clauses

Herbert Smith Freehills has secured an important judgment from the Hong Kong Court of Appeal, C v D [2022] HKCA 729, regarding escalation clauses – contractual provisions which require negotiation or mediation before either party can begin formal proceedings. These clauses are intended to promote the efficient resolution of disputes, but often lead to costly litigation. … Read more


The Singapore High Court has interpreted a potentially defective arbitration clause, which selected the “China International Arbitration Center” (a non-existent institution), as an agreement to CIETAC arbitration and therefore upheld an award issued by a CIETAC Tribunal. The Court held that, provided the parties objectively intended to refer to the same arbitral institution (rather than … Read more