On 1 September 2013, a revised chapter 6 of the Judicial Code (from article 1676 to article 1722), comprising the Law on Arbitration (the 2013 Law on Arbitration),1 was developed. This revised version replaced its predecessor, which was initially adopted in 1972. The previous law was based on the Uniform Law on Arbitration provided in the European Convention, drafted by the Council of Europe in 1966. Belgium was the only state to ratify the Convention. For this reason, as opposed to a uniform and widespread law, the result was a rather isolated regime. Although the Belgian Law on Arbitration has been amended twice (in 1985 and 1998), national idiosyncrasies were abundant up until 2013. Last year, Belgium made a revolutionary step towards harmonising its legislation on arbitration with the adoption of the UNCITRAL Model Law (the Model Law).
The preparatory works mentioned that inspiration was drawn from the national arbitration laws of Germany, Switzerland and France.2 It is important to note that the 2013 Law on Arbitration brought the arbitration-related proceedings before the Belgian courts to a qualitatively new level. Previously, the role of the courts in such proceedings was heavily criticised. First, the 2013 Law on Arbitration aimed to align the arbitration-related proceedings in national courts with the contemporary arbitration-friendly international approach and to make it easier to grasp for foreign parties. The revisions to the provisions on the setting aside of an award, challenges to arbitration proceedings and interim measures are the most notable developments. Second, the revisions attempted to accelerate the overall duration of proceedings by, inter alia, removing an appeal procedure at the Court of Appeal in annulment proceedings and allowing only ‘cassation' to the Supreme Court.
In addition, on 1 January 2013, the Belgian Centre for Mediation and Arbitration (CEPANI) adopted new Arbitration Rules and new Mediation Rules. The 2013 Rules on Arbitration and Mediation have undergone substantial revision and were inspired by the 2012 ICC arbitration rules.
The 2013 Law on Arbitration: important changes
If the seat of the arbitration is in Belgium, the 2013 Law on Arbitration applies to domestic and international arbitration proceedings that commenced from 1 September 2013, irrespective of the parties' nationality. The previous Law on Arbitration (the Previous Law) remains applicable to arbitration proceedings introduced prior to 1 September 2013.
There are fewer grounds for setting aside an award
When including an arbitration clause in a contract, parties aim to provide for an expeditious and final dispute resolution method. If an award is challenged, it may take a long time before a party receives its awarded relief. Generally, the more peculiar the regime for challenges to an award at the seat of arbitration, the longer it will take to receive the relief. Hence, businesses avoid jurisdictions where they risk drowning in protracted legal battles in national courts. The Belgian law on set-aside proceedings traditionally diverted from article 34 of the Model Law. More grounds for challenge and a potential three-tier procedure were among unfortunate differences. Following the revision, provisions for challenges to an award were significantly amended to correspond as much as possible with the UNCITRAL regime. According to the preparatory works, German, Spanish and Austrian arbitration laws were used to serve as an example for the regulation of set-aside proceedings.3
The following grounds are now excluded by the 2013 Law on Arbitration:
- if an award contains conflicting provisions (former article 1704.2 (j));
- if the formalities prescribed in article 1701.4 have not been fulfilled (former article 1704.2 (h)) (article 1701.4 required that an award shall be set down in writing and signed by the arbitrators);
- if an award is based on false evidence (former article 1704.3 (b)); or
- if one of the parties withholds a crucial piece of evidence (former article 1704.3 (c)).
However, the legislator still included three grounds for challenge in addition to the approach provided by the Model Law:
- an award does not state reasons (article 1717.3 (a), (iv) of the 2013 Law on Arbitration);
- an arbitral tribunal has exceeded its powers (article 1717.3 (a), (vi) of the 2013 Law on Arbitration); or
- an award was obtained by fraud (article 1717.3 (b), (iii) of the 2013 Law on Arbitration).
As in the Model Law, article 1717.2 of the 2013 Law on Arbitration provides that the listed grounds for challenge are exclusive.
An award must contain reasons but contradictory provisions in an award are no longer grounds for annulment
The duty to state reasons is an essential feature of the jurisdictional mission for Belgian judges. Likewise, an arbitral award rendered in Belgium may be challenged if it fails to state the reasons on which it is based. This ground distinguishes Belgian arbitration law from the Model Law. In the preparatory works, the legislator explains that the motivation in an award is a requirement of domestic public policy. However, it does not prevent the recognition of an award that does not state reasons in Belgium if the motivation is not required under the law applicable to proceedings.4 Additionally, according to the UNCITRAL 2012 Digest of Case Law on the Model Law, ‘court decisions differ as to whether the failure to provide reasons constitutes or not, on its own, a ground for setting aside (or refusing to enforce) an award.' At the same time, the Digest explains that, in general, ‘courts have rejected the view that the reasons given in an award must meet the standard applicable to court judgments.' Thus, generally, a lower threshold prevails: ‘the arbitral tribunal should state the facts and explain succinctly why, on the basis of such facts, the decision was rendered.'5 For a Belgian legislator, the failure to state reasons is also interconnected with another commonly recognised ground for challenge: excess of mandate by an arbitral tribunal. The Digest explains that connection as: ‘the failure of the arbitral tribunal to give any reasons seriously hampers a party's ability to determine if the award dealt with a dispute beyond the terms of submission.'6 However, according to a recent decision of a Court of First Instance (Brussels) the requirement for an arbitral award to contain reasons is still a formal requirement and not a substantive one.7 When deciding in an annulment procedure, it is not within a judge's competence to evaluate the reasoning of an arbitral award.
An important change is that the 2013 Law on Arbitration abolished a ground that was a subject of controversy for a long time. Under the Previous Law, an arbitral award could also be set aside if it contained contradictions in its provisions. The common rationale for annulment in such cases was that a contradictory award is not reasoned. This is because contradictory reasons are equivalent to no reasons at all. However, it was largely debated whether it includes the entire motivation or only an operative part of the award. In 2011, the Belgian Supreme Court in Havas & Euro RSCG Worldwide v Dentu Inc (C.10.0302.F/1) ruled that a contradiction in the award's reasoning might form a basis for annulment. Moreover, according to the Supreme Court, in such cases a judge is not required to check whether the decision is otherwise justified. Pursuant to the 2013 Law on Arbitration, the presence of contradictory provisions in an award is no longer a ground for annulment. Thus, that puts an end to that debate. Likewise, courts and doctrine in other jurisdictions have also rejected the notion that awards may be annulled because they are internally inconsistent (eg, in France, Sweden and the United States).
Article 1717.6 of the 2013 Law on Arbitration corresponds to article 34, paragraph 4 of the Model Law and provides an option to ‘save' an award (ie, the court has the option to remit the case to the arbitral tribunal to eliminate the ground for annulment). According to the Belgian legislator, the interests of efficiency dictate such an option and the annulment of an award should remain the ultimate remedy. If an irregularity can be corrected by a new intervention of the arbitral tribunal, it is preferable to use this procedure.8
The double degree of jurisdiction for annulment proceedings is removed
The overall duration of the annulment proceedings was heavily criticised. The possibility to appeal a court's decision on an annulment claim often led to protracting proceedings for several years. The 2013 Law on Arbitration abolished the double instance of appeal. Pursuant to article 1717.2 of the 2013 Law on Arbitration, annulment proceedings will be conducted before the Court of First Instance, with no possibility to go to the Court of Appeal. It is only possible to file an application for ‘cassation' to the Supreme Court.
The possibility to renounce in advance a request to set aside an arbitral award
Like under the Previous Law, according to article 1718 of the 2013 Law on Arbitration, non-Belgian parties without any link to Belgium may waive in advance the option to challenge an award rendered in Belgium. The Model Law does not contain such a provision. This provision finds its equivalent in article 192, paragraph 1 of the Swiss Federal Act on Private International Law and in article 51 of the Swedish Arbitration Act of 1999. Interestingly, between 1985 and 1998, Belgium had a provision that abolished all rights to seek annulment of awards made in Belgium between parties. This rule was met with scepticism and the law was amended.
Recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards
Aside from adopting all grounds for refusing recognition or enforcement listed by the Model Law, the 2013 Law on Arbitration kept two additional grounds: lack of reasons on which an award is based, and the excess of mandate by an arbitral tribunal. Important clarification was added to the former ground. Article 1721.1(a)(iv) of the 2013 Law on Arbitration expressly provided that the court refuses the recognition or enforcement of an award if it lacks reasons when such reasons are mandatory pursuant to the law applicable to arbitration proceedings. This is expected to put an end to the unfortunate application of that ground when the court has refused enforcement of the award that did not contain any motivation, notwithstanding that the absence of motivation was expressly provided for in the arbitration clause.9
It is worth noting that when enforcing an award in Belgium, whether foreign or local, a registration duty of 3 per cent should be paid. The duty is payable by both parties, jointly.10
Importantly, article 1722 of the 2013 Law on Arbitration provides that the enforcement of an arbitral award is barred after a period of 10 years commencing from the date on which the arbitral award was communicated.
Challenges of arbitrators
Inspired by article 13 of the Model Law, the legislator has made a number of important amendments to the section regulating challenges of arbitrators. Many practitioners have criticised challenge proceedings against an arbitrator for their length and confusing case law. The most notorious example is the case Republic of Poland v Eureko and Stephen M Schwebel, in which arbitration was suspended for two years because the Republic of Poland challenged an arbitrator.11
The Previous Law did not provide for a summary proceeding in case of challenge against an arbitrator. However, it provided for an annulment procedure with the Court of the First Instance and then for an appeal to the Court of Appeal, which contributed even further to the delays. This system was applicable even in institutional arbitration.12 It was not at the discretion of the institution to examine the challenge against an arbitrator, but it was reserved to the competence of a state court. Article 1687 of the 2013 Law on Arbitration expressly provides that the parties are free to agree on the procedure applicable to the challenge of arbitrators. For example, parties may agree on that by reference to a set of arbitration rules.
Article 1687.2(b) of the 2013 Law on Arbitration also states that, in the absence of the parties' agreement on the procedure for a challenge against an arbitrator, the president of the Court of the First Instance should decide on a challenge acting as in summary proceedings. The president's decision cannot be appealed. While the challenge is pending, the arbitration may continue and the tribunal may even render an arbitral award. The legislator explains that the rationale of that provision is to prevent the use of challenge against an arbitrator as a dilatory tactic and to ensure efficiency of arbitration. Additionally, the president has the jurisdiction to decide issues on the appointment or replacement of an arbitrator, to set a time limit for the arbitrator to render the arbitration award and to take necessary measures for collecting evidence (article 1680.2 of the 2013 Law on Arbitration).
Pursuant to article 1691, the arbitral tribunal may order any interim or conservatory measures it deems necessary, except for attachment orders, which remain within the exclusive jurisdiction of the state courts. Also, parties may agree to exclude or limit the possibility for arbitrators to decide on interim or protective measures. The 2013 Law on Arbitration aimed to bring the regulation of interim measures in line with the relevant part of the Model Law as amended in 2006. However, the 2013 Law on Arbitration still maintains some differences with the Model Law. For example, it does not provide a general definition of interim measures or set out the detailed conditions for granting interim measures, giving the discretion to the arbitral tribunal. As the preparatory works explain, the incorporation of the list of conservatory measures and the conditions for granting them was considered too rigid. The legislator was concerned that it would restrict current flexibility and impede the work of arbitrators.13 Thus, for the sake of flexibility and efficiency, it was deemed necessary to keep the traditional Belgian approach and give the tribunal wide discretion on these matters.14
In addition, unlike the Model Law, the 2013 Law on Arbitration does not empower an arbitral tribunal to render attachment orders ex parte. The Belgian legislator explained that it is more effective to request this measure from the president of the Court of First Instance according to article 584.3 of the Belgian Judicial Code since the implementation of such orders rendered by arbitrators may be problematic. Also, the preparatory works point out that, if an arbitrator is given such powers, it might appear inconsistent with the consensual nature of arbitration. It may also jeopardise the independence of an arbitrator and the right of defence.15
On the other hand, articles 1692 to 1695 of the 2013 Law on Arbitration correspond to articles 17 D, E, F and G of the Model Law. The key principles and rules contained in these provisions have already existed under Belgian law, although they were not specific to arbitration. Thus, the legislator explains that the inclusion of such provisions adds valuable clarification to foreign colleagues and plays an educational role.
Another notable clarification is the provision contained in article 1696.1 stating that interim measures ordered by an arbitral tribunal shall be recognised as binding and shall be enforced by the Court of First Instance. In Belgium, unlike in some other countries, it is recognised that interim measures ordered by an arbitral tribunal are enforceable. Thus, the express provision regarding the recognition and enforcement of interim measures provides useful information to foreign practitioners and to those unfamiliar with the Belgian law. Note also that article 1696 allows for the recognition and enforcement of the decision on interim measures irrespective of whether the decision was adopted in the form of an award or in any other form.
Article 1676 of the Previous Law was often considered ambiguous with regard to the disputes that can be submitted to arbitration. Although the 2013 Law on Arbitration still does not provide a list of non-arbitrable disputes, it introduces a revised criterion of arbitrability. Pursuant to the 2013 Law on Arbitration, any dispute of a pecuniary nature can be subjected to arbitration. Non-pecuniary matters may also be subject to arbitration proceedings if it is legally permitted to settle the matter by arbitration. As the preparatory works explain, the Belgian legislator followed the example of the Swiss law (article 177, paragraph 1, PILA) and the German law (article 1030, (1), ZPO).16 For instance, article 177, paragraph 1 of the PILA provides: ‘Any dispute involving financial interests can be the subject matter of arbitration.' The Swiss Federal Court has interpreted it as a very broad notion involving all claims that present, at least for one party, an interest that can be assessed in monetary terms.
Restrictions on the arbitrability of certain types of disputes shall be clearly provided by specific legislation. Pursuant to article 1676.5 of the 2013 Law on Arbitration, arbitration agreements in respect of the disputes belonging to the jurisdiction of the labour courts, without prejudice to the exceptions provided by law, shall be automatically null and void if concluded prior to the moment the dispute arises. Within the area of intellectual property, the Act on Patents, dated 28 March 1984, excludes disputes relating to mandatory licences from arbitration. Article 577.4 of the Belgium Civil Code on the mandatory co-ownership of buildings or groups of buildings considers any clauses in the regulations of the building that empower one or more arbitrators to resolve disputes regarding application of that section as void.
Under article 4 of the Belgian Law dated 27 July 1961 on Unilateral Termination of Exclusive Distribution Agreements of Indefinite Duration (the Law of 1961), if an exclusive distributor has suffered damage further to the unilateral termination of a distribution agreement effective within all or part of Belgian territory, he or she may always initiate legal proceedings before the courts of Belgium. In such cases, the courts must apply Belgian law exclusively. Article 6 of the Law of 1961 adds that the provisions of the Law will prevail over any contrary stipulations of the parties, agreed upon prior to contract termination.
On 3 November 2011, the Belgian Supreme Court upheld the decision of the Brussels Court of Appeal. The Court of Appeal found the arbitration provision in the commercial agency agreement providing for the resolution of all disputes under Quebec law null and void because the protection of commercial agents under the chosen law was not equivalent to the provision contained in the Belgian law. This contradicted the provisions of the Council Directive of 18 December 1986 on the coordination of the laws of the member states relating to self-employed commercial agents (86/653/EEC), implemented by Belgium in 1995.
Unlike article 27 of the UNCITRAL Model Law, article 1708 of the 2013 Law on Arbitration does not permit the arbitral tribunal to request a state court to assist in taking of evidence. According to the Belgian provision, only a party may file such a request.
Pursuant to article 1680 of the 2013 Law on Arbitration, the president of the Court of First Instance is competent to take all necessary measures for the taking of evidence in summary proceedings (in accordance with article 1709). This decision cannot be appealed.
No writing requirement for a valid arbitration agreement
Previously, article 1677 provided that an arbitration agreement shall be constituted in writing. Article 1681 of the 2013 Law on Arbitration mirrors the second option of article 7 of the Model Law, which defines the arbitration agreement in a manner that omits any formal requirement. Hence, an arbitration agreement does not have to be concluded in writing in order to be valid under Belgian law. That means that an oral arbitration agreement is valid as long as it can be proven. The preparatory works provide that witness testimonies can serve as proof.17
2013 Standard Dispute Rules adopted by the Institute of Arbitration
The Institute of Arbitration (the Institute) is a neutral and independent non-governmental organisation. One of its distinguishing features is that an arbitral award can be appealed within the Institute before another arbitral tribunal. The 2013 Standard Dispute Rules (SDR) aim to make arbitration accessible to all European citizens and their companies. The main changes adopted by the 2013 SDR concern two areas: the powers of the tribunal and the competence of the Secretariat.
As to the powers of the tribunal, the most notable development is that, under article 6 of the 2013 SDR, the arbitral tribunal is expressly given powers to propose mediation. This provision aims to open a door for Arb-Med proceedings. Article 9 of the SDR now also explicitly mentions that the settlement agreement is included in the award. This contributes even further to the promotion of mediation and demonstrates the modern approach towards alternative dispute resolution taken in Belgium. Another change incorporated by part IV.3 concerns the requirement for arbitrators to reduce their fees if they declare themselves incompetent or for a default award in the first instance.
Chapter VI adds an option for an ad hoc arbitration that clearly provides that the Institute may be entrusted with the tasks of the clerk's office or the appeal level. One of the services that can be requested from the Institute is the translation of an award if the arbitration is in a country with a language other than one of the proceedings. The official version of the SDR is now available in five languages, including Portuguese.
CEPANI 2013 Arbitration and Mediation Rules
The Belgian Centre for Mediation and Arbitration (CEPANI) adopted new Arbitration Rules and new Mediation Rules that came into force on 1 January 2013.18 The new Rules have undergone a substantial revision and were inspired to a large extent by the 2012 ICC arbitration rules. The most significant innovations concern the inclusion of provisions on multiparty and multi-contract arbitration, joinder and consolidation, reviewed provisions on interim and conservatory measures, and the liability of CEPANI and the arbitrators.
The 2013 Rules provided that arbitration can take place between more than two parties and claims arising out of various contracts can be brought in a single arbitration (articles 9 and 10). Intervention of a third party is also possible if the arbitral tribunal has not yet been appointed or confirmed (article 11). When multiple arbitrations are related or indivisible, the parties or the arbitral tribunal can request CEPANI to order consolidation (article 13).
Furthermore, according to article 26 of the 2013 Rules, it is now possible to request interim and conservatory measures before the tribunal is constituted. CEPANI will appoint an emergency arbitrator within two days after the request and the arbitrator will render an award within 15 days. The emergency arbitrator cannot be appointed as arbitrator in the proceedings on the merits and the award on the interim and conservatory measures will not bind the tribunal.
Additionally, article 37 of the 2013 Rules provides for a limitation of the liability of the arbitrator. Liability is excluded for an act or omission when a tribunal is carrying out their functions of ruling on a dispute (with the exception of fraud). For any other act or omission by the arbitrator or the CEPANI, liability can incur in cases of gross negligence or fraud.
Finally, another important initiative of CEPANI is the launch of b-Arbitra in May 2013. b-Arbitra is the Belgian Review of Arbitration that welcomes contributions in English, as well as in Belgium's three official languages: Dutch, French and German. It aims, inter alia, to provide a dynamic forum for the exchange of information on a European scale.
The Court of Appeal of Liège stated on 22 January 2015 that the indivisibility of a dispute can prevent the jurisdiction of the arbitrators in favour of the ordinary courts. Article 31 of the Belgian Judicial Code prescribes that a dispute is deemed indivisible when the joint implementation of the various decisions to which it gives rise would be impossible. This article must be interpreted strictly and as a matter of public policy. Monetary claims may be related, but can never be indivisible. Orders to pay or to not pay can always be rendered together, even if they contradict each other.
Various lower courts of first instance rendered different sentences in 2015. The following are worth mentioning:
- Under the Judicial Code, an award can be annulled on grounds of the invalidity of the arbitration agreement. The Court of First Instance in Brussels specified that the aforementioned ground can only be used when the arbitrator declares him or herself competent (Brussels Court of First Instance, 11 March 2016).
- Notwithstanding the fact that parties have decided otherwise in accordance with article 1681 of the Judicial Code, only the president of the Court of First Instance is competent to choose an arbitrator. This resulted in the fact that the president of the Commercial Court had to declared himself incompetent (Commercial Court of Brussels, 20 February 2015).
- In the context of an international arbitration involving parties of different nationalities, public order is the international public policy of the relevant forum, in relation to the place of execution of the award. In the same judgment, the courts stated that the discussion about the applicable law needs to be held during the arbitral procedure and not during the enforcement procedure (Brussels Court of First Instance, 11 December 2014).
- The immunity of NATO cannot be invoked when they are absent during the trial (Brussels Court of First Instance, 26 February 2015).
- The statement of reasons in an arbitral award is a condition of form, not substance, which excludes any control by the annulment judge of the intrinsic value of the reasoning by the arbitral tribunal (Brussels Court of First Instance, 28 January 2015).
- According to Belgian law, obtaining the enforcement of an arbitral award is done via an unilateral request. Parties that oppose the enforcement are therefore bound to utilise third party proceedings. This results in the fact that a judicial payment (or payment into court) will not be possible as a judicial payment is restricted to ordinary appeals according to Belgian law (articles 1404, 21, 1712 and 1722 of the Belgian Judicial Code). Court of First Instance of Liège, 12 May 2015).
Belgian law against ‘vulture funds'
On 1 July 2015, Belgian parliament adopted new legislation in a fight against so-called vulture funds, which are investment companies buying sovereign defaulted debts for bargain prices in order to sue the indebted countries for full repayment.19 The law is directed against the enforcement of these claims on the territory of Belgium with the main purpose of preventing these funds from seizing any property of countries in peril. One of the cases that gave rise to this legal initiative was NML Capital Management v the Argentine Republic,20 in which the company demanded Argentinian accounts to be frozen in Belgium.
The new law sets out the framework of how to identify a ‘vulture fund' or, within the wording of the law, ‘illegitimate advantages' of a creditor. The judge has to identify ‘a manifest disproportion between the amount claimed by the creditor and national face value of the debt'. If a judge is confronted with a vulture fund, which claims to get the full value of the bonds it acquired, the maximum that it gets is the discounted amount the company actually paid for the bonds. Belgium is not the first country to adopt a clear anti-vulture fund position. In 2010, the United Kingdom also adopted new legislation on this matter. However, although Belgium and the United Kingdom sent clear signals with their legislation, a multilateral action towards curtailing the harmful functioning of vulture funds is required.
- Document 005, Texte Adopte, dated 16 May 2013, available at www.lachambre.be/kvvcr/showpage.cfm?section=/flwb&language=fr&rightmenu=right&cfm=/site/wwwcfm/flwb/flwbn.cfm?lang=F&legislat=53&dossierID=2743. English translation available at www.cepani.be/en/arbitration/belgian-judicial-code-provisions.
- Document 003 (No. 53-2743/003), ‘Rapport fait au nom de la commission', Stefaan De Clerck, dated 8 May 2013, p. 8, available at www.lachambre.be/kvvcr/showpage.cfm?section=/flwb&language=fr&rightmenu=right&cfm=/site/wwwcfm/flwb/flwbn.cfm?lang=F&legislat=53&dossierID=2743.
- Document 001 (No. 53-2743/001), Dépôt, dated 11 April 2013, p. 40, available at www.lachambre.be/FLWB/pdf/53/2743/53K2743001.pdf.
- Ibid, p. 158.
- The UNCITRAL 2012 Digest of Case Law on the Model Law, p. 154, available at www.uncitral.org/pdf/english/clout/MAL-digest-2012-e.pdf.
- Decision of the Brussels Court of First Instance, dated 28 January 2015, Judgment No. 35, 4 Chamber, AR/2014/7806/A.
- Document 001 (No. 53-2743/001), Dépôt, dated 11 April 2013, p. 41, available at www.lachambre.be/FLWB/pdf/53/2743/53K2743001.pdf.
- Decision of the Brussels Court of First Instance dated 30 March 2011, RDC, 2012/2, pp. 186-189. See also C Verbruggen, ‘Le refus d'exequatur d'une sentence arbitrale étrangère dépourvue de motivation', RDC, 2012/2, p. 189 et seq.
- See more in Yves Hendrix, ‘Droits d'enregistrement et sentence arbitrales', b-Arbitra, 2013/2, who examines the situation where the winner, who has had to pay the registration duty, seeks recovery of such duty against the debtor.
- Brussels Court of Appeal of 29 October 2007, RG 2007/AR/70.
- Court of Appeal of Brussels, 21 June 2005, RG 2004/AR/3106, unreported.
- Document 001 (No. 53-2743/001), Dépôt, dated 11 April 2013, p. 24, available at www.lachambre.be/FLWB/pdf/53/2743/53K2743001.pdf.
- ...'prendre toute mesure provisoire ou conservatoire qu'il juge nécessaire en ce qui concerne l'objet du différend', Ibid.
- Ibid, pp. 24-25.
- Document 001 (No. 53-2743/001), Dépôt, dated 11 April 2013, p. 9, available at www.lachambre.be/FLWB/pdf/53/2743/53K2743001.pdf.
- Document 001 (No. 53-2743/001), Dépôt, dated 11 April 2013, p. 15, available at www.lachambre.be/FLWB/pdf/53/2743/53K2743001.pdf.
- Available at www.cepani.be/EN/Default.aspx?PId=861.
- Document 005 (No. 54-1057/005) Dépôt, dated 1 July 2015, available at www.lachambre.be/FLWB/PDF/54/1057/54K1057005.pdf.
- NML Capital, Ltd. v Republic of Argentina, 134 S. Ct. 2250, 189 L. Ed. 2d 234 (2014).
Billiet & Co and the Association for International Arbitration
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Billiet & Co is one of Brussels' leading independent business law firms. Since its creation in 1989 it has developed a very strong reputation in areas such as litigation and company law, as well as in niche areas such as alternative dispute resolution and distribution law. The firm has gradually expanded, enabling clients to benefit from a full range of civil and commercial legal services, including from within the realm of European and international law. Billiet & Co is known for its high-quality legal services and its particular client focus. The economic, commercial and private interests of the client remain central and every intervention is tailored to ensure the protection of the clients' interests. The team is composed of experienced lawyers, professional negotiators, mediators, former public prosecutors, academics, arbitrators, deputy judges, court-registered bankruptcy liquidators, administrators of debts, and accounting and financial experts. In light of this, the firm offers a multinational team representing a broad spectrum of legal backgrounds.
Billiet & Co works in Dutch, French, Spanish, English, German, Russian, Romanian and Ukrainian. The firm is a long-standing partner of the Association for International Arbitration and a member of various networks such as KLS, the International Practice Group (IPG) and Legal Matchmakers International (LMI).The firm also collaborates with the affiliated New York firm Becker Law.
The Association for International Arbitration (AIA) is a non-profit organisation open to all those interested in alternative dispute resolution (ADR), irrespective of nationality and level of experience. Since its creation in 2001, the AIA strives to bring together the global community in the field of ADR and aid in its promotion. The AIA also regularly organises conferences and seminars on a wide range of ADR issues in Belgium and is actively involved in the organisation of various educational events internationally. Moreover, the AIA organises tailored training on ADR topics.
The AIA does not itself decide disputes - its function is to provide information concerning arbitration and mediation matters to support members of the AIA. This is done, for example, by assisting with negotiations and with developing an ADR institute. The AIA wants to improve the quality of ADR in several ways and to promote ADR in general. This can be done, for example, by assisting in creating new regulations for ADR.