The DIS Rules of Arbitration of 2018

The new arbitration rules of the German Institution of Arbitration (Deutsche Institution für Schiedsgerichtsbarkeit – “DIS”) will enter into force on 1 March 2018 (“DIS Rules 2018”).

It is the first revision of the DIS Rules since the current version was adopted in 1998 (“DIS Rules 1998”). The revision process involved nearly 300 persons sitting in three different commissions, but took only 18 months. The DIS Rules 2018 were drafted concurrently in English and German. The result: The DIS maintained and enhanced those civil law elements which were already decisive for the success of the DIS Rules 1998. But it also adopted new rules to reflect the changes and developments of international arbitration practice of the last two decades.

One of the most prominent features – as under the DIS Rules 1998 – of the DIS Rules 2018 is the promotion of early settlements (I.). Further, a newly founded body, the “Arbitration Council” will enhance the transparency and the integrity of the arbitration process (II.). Next, several new rules have been adopted in order to increase the already high efficiency, quality and expeditious character of DIS arbitration proceedings (III.). Lastly, along with the amendments of several institutional rules, the DIS Rules 2018 contain several new rules for multi-party and multi-contract arbitrations (IV.).

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The Race Towards Predictability: Does It Threaten The Effectiveness Of Modern Arbitration?

Mathias Wittinghofer, a partner in the Frankfurt office of Herbert Smith Freehills has published an article on predictability in international arbitration, arguing that it is not inherently a good thing. The article argues that flexibility and party autonomy are of greater importance to users of arbitration. It sets out advantages of flexibility in arbitration, noting that this flexibility is what makes arbitration attractive to parties in a cross-border or complex dispute. To read the full article please click here.

This article was first published in the Austrian Yearbook on International Arbitration 2017.

Mathias Wittinghofer
Mathias Wittinghofer
+49 69 2222 82521

DIS adopts model clause to be used with ISDA Master Agreement

Effective January 2017, the German Institution of Arbitration (Deutsche Institution für Schiedsgerichtsbarkeit, "DIS") has adopted a new model clause to be used with the 2002 ISDA Master Agreement ("DIS ISDA Model Clause"). The DIS ISDA Model Clause provides for use of the institutional rules of the DIS and Frankfurt, Germany as the seat of the arbitration. While the underlying substantive agreement is subject to English or New York law, the arbitration clause is governed by German law. The DIS ISDA Model Clause can be found here:


In 2013, the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) published the 2013 ISDA Arbitration Guide (the "Guide"). The Guide's purpose was to provide guidance on the use of arbitration clauses with either the ISDA 2002 Master Agreeement or the ISDA 1992 Master Agreement. The Guide included a range of model clauses for a number of combinations of national and international arbitration institutions and arbitration seats for users to choose from.  However, the DIS was not among the institutions featured, nor was any German city. It had subsequently been suggested to include a model clause for Frankfurt, not least because of the economic size of Germany but also because Frankfurt is the largest financial centre in continental Europe and the seat of the ECB (see "Finanzbranche entdeckt Schiedsgerichte", Börsen-Zeitung, No. 201, October 2013).

In cooperation with ISDA, the DIS has now closed this gap. 


With the newly-adopted DIS ISDA Model Clause, financial parties – especially when doing business in Germany – can now choose arbitration in Germany under the auspices of the DIS. For banks with German customers, this is a big step forward: they can offer arbitration on 'home-turf' to customers who might otherwise be reluctant to agree to arbitration. For the DIS, this is another success in its continued bid to establish itself among the top arbitration institutions.

Dr Peter Werner, Senior Counsel at ISDA, commented: "We welcome the interest in ISDA model clauses expressed by German market participants and the dispute resolution community. ISDA is looking forward to including the new model clause as one of the additional appendices in the next edition of the ISDA Arbitration Guide."

Dr Mathias Wittinghofer
Dr Mathias Wittinghofer
+49 69 2222 82400
Tilmann Hertel
Tilmann Hertel
Senior Associate
+49 69 2222 82524

Inside Arbitration: Issue #3 of the publication from Herbert Smith Freehills’ Global Arbitration Practice

We are delighted to share with you the latest issue of the publication from Herbert Smith Freehills' Global Arbitration Practice, Inside Arbitration.

In addition to sharing knowledge and insights about the markets and industries in which our clients operate, the publication offers personal perspectives of our international arbitration partners from across the globe.

In this issue:

  • Paula Hodges QC, Peter Leon, Craig Tevendale and Chris Parker share their insights into the development of commercial arbitration on the African continent and consider dispute resolution choices for parties negotiating Africa-related contracts.
  • We consider the development of arbitration in Rwanda and the Kigali International Arbitration Centre "in conversation" with KIAC's secretary general, Dr Fidèle Masengo.
  • Peter Godwin, Regional Head of Disputes Asia, reflects on his 16 years in Asia and the changes in attitudes towards dispute resolution amongst Japanese parties.
  • Dr Patricia Nacimiento, Thomas Weimann and Dr Mathias Wittinghofer give their view on whether Germany is on its way to becoming a true arbitration powerhouse.
  • Chris Parker, Elaine Wong, Gitta Satryani and Elizabeth Kantor provide a global perspective on the availability of security for costs and claim in international arbitration.
  • Dr Larry Shore discusses his path into public international law and the development of his interest in treaty disputes, as well as the differences in arbitration practice in the US and the UK and trends in US arbitration.
  • We highlight a number of key considerations for parties negotiating contracts with state and state-owned entities across the globe and provide comparative into state immunity in five key jurisdictions.

We are pleased to present our clients with an infographic providing a snapshot of our global arbitration practice in the two years 2014-2016.

The infographic details the successes of our growing practice and our huge geographical reach. The infographic is available at this link and at page 25 of Inside Arbitration.

The full digital edition can be downloaded in PDF by clicking on this link.

We hope that you enjoy reading Issue #3 of Inside Arbitration. We would welcome your feedback.