GAR Volume 10 - Issue 1

The elephant in the room - Hamid Gharavi highlights the shortcomings of ICSID’s annulment process

Yukos moves to Dutch courts • GAR Live Paris looks at long-term gas pricing contracts • GAR Live Dubai considers treaty arbitration

Features

Putting the toothpaste back in the tube and other problems of long-term gas pricing contracts

Speakers at GAR Live Paris discussed the problems associated with long-term gas pricing contracts and the lessons they have learnt on how best to adjust them to new market conditions. Clemmie Spalton reports.

An Arab Spring of treaty arbitration?

The Arab Spring is just one of several factors that have contributed to the increased participation in investment treaty arbitration of Middle Eastern and North African companies and states, argued speakers at GAR Live Dubai. Kyriaki Karadelis and Alison Ross report.

First GAR Live Dubai looks at progress and pitfalls

Practitioners from Bahrain, Egypt, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates considered the progress the region has made at the first GAR Live Dubai – while also addressing the continuing difficulties of enforcing arbitral awards in the Gulf and other sensitive topics. Kyriaki Karadelis reports

ICSID: the elephant in the room

As ICSID marks its 50th anniversary, investment arbitration specialist Hamid Gharavi of Derains & Gharavi in Paris says it is time to talk about serious shortcomings in the centre’s rules on annulment proceedings – a rare act of public criticism by a frequent user of the centre.

Global Briefing

MONEY COLUMN: Is third-party funding only for claimants?

Mark Kantor, an independent arbitrator in Washington, DC, considers how respondents in international arbitrations can avail themselves of third-party funding in the form of insurance products.

Singapore tackles the corruption beast

After expanding its dispute resolution offering to include an new international commercial court and mediation centre, Singapore is looking to tackle the beast of bribery and corruption. Wilson Ang and Darius Chan, partner and senior associate of Norton Rose Fulbright, report on its efforts – in part a response to the city state’s slide in a well known corruption perceptions index.

SLOVAKIA: New legislation for Central European tiger

A recent amendment to the Slovakian Arbitration Act makes it the second country in Central Europe to achieve full compliance with the 2006 version of the Model Law, after Slovenia. Martin Magál, Juraj Gyárfáš and Michal Porubský of Allen & Overy in Bratislava report.

TREATY COLUMN: Third ICSID tribunal allows multi-party claim in bond default case

Matthew Weiniger QC and Aaron McDonald, partner and associate at Herbert Smith Freehills in London, consider the ICSID decision in Alemanni v Argentina to dismiss the majority of the respondent's preliminary objections to claims brought by 74 bondholders.

TURKEY: At the crossroads of Europe and Asia

Istanbul is establishing an international arbitration centre, as part of a plan to develop the city as a financial hub at the crossroads of Europe and Asia. Clyde & Co’s Ben Knowles and Iain Rowlands consider the centre’s prospects in an increasingly competitive market, and especially whether the government is doing enough to show its independence and impartiality.

Conference Reports

AMSTERDAM: Social practices are the problem

In a keynote speech in Amsterdam, Zachary Douglas argued that the arbitration community must revise its “social practices” and expectations, not its rules and guidelines, to address concerns about delay in the process and spiralling costs. Marc Krestin and Georgios Fasfalis of Linklaters report.

BEIJING: Opening the Forbidden City

A seminar co-organised by ICDR Young & International and the China Young Arbitration Group (CYAG) explored recent developments in institutional arbitration in China and beyond. Yves Hu, associate at WunschArb in Beijing, reports

HONG KONG: Fortier advocates a “poetic” approach to corruption

Yves Fortier QC has encouraged “arbitrator-poets” (as he styled them) to speak out against transnational corruption, in the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre’s 2014 Kaplan lecture. Matthew Townsend, associate at Norton Rose Fulbright in Hong Kong, reports.

HONG KONG: Lord Hoffmann’s rule of law musings

Lord Hoffmann has become the latest prominent legal figure to endorse Hong Kong as a seat of arbitration in the face of suggestions that it lacks independence from mainland China, at the same time sharing his views on what constitutes the rule of law; arbitrating in London and Moscow; whether an award is anchored in the seat or occupies a virtual “cloud”; and the ethical responsibilities of counsel in arbitrations. Olga Boltenko, clerk to Hong Kong arbitrator Neil Kaplan QC, reports.

HOUSTON: Trick or treatment? – Halloween conference on avoiding political risk in the oil industry

Can investment treaties treat the frights and chills of political risk in the oil and gas industry? Freddy Sourgens, associate professor at Washburn University School of Law, reports on an investment arbitration conference on 31 October that brought academics and transactional lawyers and arbitration specialists from 12 GAR 100 firms to the capital of the oil and gas industry, Houston.

LJUBLJANA: Arbitration in the ex-Yugoslav countries

Representatives from the countries that made up the former Yugoslavia gathered in the Slovenian capital to discuss their experiences with international arbitration. Jarred Pinkston of Dorda Brugger Jordis in Vienna reports.

PRAGUE: The experience of states in investment treaty disputes

Government representatives, counsel and arbitrators gathered in the Czech capital in October to share their experiences in investment treaty arbitration. Mária Lokajová and Kateřina Šmukařová of Squire Patton Boggs in Prague report

Schreuer addresses German forum

Investment arbitration is at a critical juncture, heard a German discussion forum that included a keynote speech from one of the field's pioneers, Christoph Schreuer of the University of Vienna. Sebastian Müller of King & Spalding in Frankfurt reports.

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