Trends and Developments
Niederer Kraft Frey dispute resolution group regularly serve as chairpersons, single arbitrators, party-appointed arbitrators and counsels in national and international arbitration proceedings. Its track record is particularly strong in high-stakes arbitration proceedings. The team has extensive experience with arbitral proceedings both as arbitrators and party representatives, in-depth knowledge of the different rules governing the proceedings, and strong ties with leading law firms all over the world allow us to effectively represent client's interests in national and international arbitral proceedings.
Switzerland - an Important Venue for International Arbitration
Switzerland is one of the most important centres for international arbitration. A recent empirical study of the European Parliament on arbitration in the EU and Switzerland came to the conclusion that Switzerland is among the most recommended places for arbitration and thus without doubt one of theleading arbitration venues worldwide. A similar picture emerges from recent statistics of the International Chamber of Commerce in Paris (ICC), where Geneva was the most chosen seat of arbitration after Paris and London. In addition, Swiss nationals were the third most frequently appointed arbitrators in these ICC arbitration proceedings. Switzerland is also often chosen as the place for commercial arbitration according to the Swiss Rules of International Arbitration of the Swiss Chambers' Arbitration Institution, and it hosts the Court of Arbitration for Sport (TAC/CAS) in Lausanne, which is the highest instance in sports-related disputes worldwide, as well as the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center.
In the course of the preparatory work for the revision of the Swiss Private International Law Act (PILA), which is discussed in more detail below, the Swiss Federal Office of Justice interviewed various stakeholders of international arbitration in Switzerland. With regard to Switzerland's success in this area, the discussion partners cited the excellent legal framework as the most important factor for success in arbitration (in particular the 12th chapter of the PILA), and at the same time the high quality and consistency of the Swiss Federal Court's case-law in the field of international arbitration. The size and dynamics of a constantly renewing pool of highly qualified and multilingual Swiss arbitrators were also mentioned as factors contributing to the success of Switzerland as an internationally recognised location for arbitration. According to the interviewees, all this is complemented by the traditional quality factors of Switzerland as a place for business, such as political neutrality and stability, the quality of the infrastructure and the accessibility of legal sources in the three official languages (German, French and Italian), with a number of these sources also being available in English translations.
Switzerland's tradition of arbitration ties in with the tradition of good offices in foreign policy. Within this framework, Switzerland has played a role as facilitator, and continues to do so, supporting parties in the search for negotiated solutions without taking sides itself. While the first arbitration proceedings took place as early as the Middle Ages, the Alabama Arbitration Procedure of 1872 is commonly mentioned as the birth of modern public arbitration. At that time, the Governments of...