Arbitration is a form of dispute resolution. It is the private, out of court determination of a dispute, by an independent third party. An arbitration hearing may involve the use of an individual arbitrator or a tribunal. A tribunal may consist of any number of arbitrators though some legal systems insist on an odd number (trying to avoid a tie).
Arbitration can be subdivided into different categories
1. Commercial Arbitration
Most common form of disputes. It is a dispute between two commercial enterprises.
2. Consumer Arbitration
Dispute between a consumer and a supplier in regards of goods and services.
3. Labor Arbitration
Disputes related to employment concerns.
Any of these forms of arbitration can involve cross-border arbitration, also known as international arbitration. This law firm regularly represents clients from Germany, Switzerland and Austria in the US in commercial arbitration matters in the US.
International Arbitration, often involving two or more different legal systems and sets of laws can be a challenge to any company engaged in international business. Often, European companies enter into complex commercial agreements with US partners, and an arbitration clause is part of the proposed contract. This provision usually gets little attention until a dispute arises.
We have been successful in guiding our German speaking clients through the specific challenges and potential pitfalls of international commercial arbitration cases. The procedural rules of the various bodies of international institutions vary widely and substantially. Such institutions are i.e.: International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), JAMS International, the British Columbia International Commercial Arbitration Centre (BCICAC, Canada), the International Center for Dispute Resolution (ICDR), the International branch of the American Arbitration Association and the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA).
In a recent UTF case, we represented a European company which had entered into a Joint Venture with an American company in the area of software distribution. We filed an arbitration grievance on behalf of the client, under the procedural arbitration rules of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and under the material law of the US state of California. After exchange of pleadings and an initial evaluation by the arbitrator, we were able to bring the matter to an efficient solution through a settlement which addressed the desires and needs of both parties without incurring the legal fees which a full blown litigation procedure may have required.
Carl Christian Thier
Attorney at Law