AIA/arbit/CAM/DIS Arbitration Group Event - Arbitration in Germany and Italy—Recent Developments

Newsletter 3/2024 - International Activities: Past Events

23 May 2024, Berlin

In the lush South-western Berlin neighborhood of Dahlem, the Bilateral Italian-German Arbitration Group held its third gathering—in collaboration with the the Centre for Italian Studies (Italienzentrum) of the Freie Universität (FU) Berlin—on 23 May 2024. Christian Armbrüster (FU Berlin), next to Co-Chairs Cecilia Carrara (Legance) and Gustav Flecke-Giammarco (7SA), welcomed the audience to an insightful debate on “Arbitration in Germany and Italy—Recent Developments”.

Three panel discussions delved into (1) the new DIS Supplementary Rules for Third-Party Notices (DIS-ERS), (2) the recognition and enforcement of awards in Italy and Germany (in comparison with Austria and Switzerland), and (3) four fire debate topics for 2024.

David Quinke (Gleiss Lutz) kicked off the meeting with a keynote speech on the rationale, technicalities, and advantages of the innovative DIS-ERS: a tool tackling “das Problem” of third parties’ inclusion (cf. Borris/Quinke/Kaehlbrandt/Wolff: Die Ergänzenden Regeln für Streitverkündungen (DIS-ERS), SchiedsVZ 2024, 61), often faced by what is colloquially known as the “sandwiched” party. Ramona Schardt (DIS), Pauline Walde (Ashurst), Christoph Benedict (Watson Farley & Williams), Lotario Dittrich (Studio Legale Dittrich) and Irene Petrelli (Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle) debated on (a) the market need for such rules, (b) the third party’s interests, (c) the cost allocation mechanisms, and (d) the relationship with parallel (court or arbitral) proceedings. Moderator Christian Armbrüster (FU Berlin) wrapped up the main conclusions: the DIS-ERS are no “one fits all solution” but cater to specific sectors, obviating the difficulties of joining third parties.

The keynote speech of Michele Curatola (Clifford Chance), part of the second panel, stressed the role of the New York Convention on Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards as “the lighthouse in the storm”. Moderator Michele Sabatini (ArbLit) and panelists Tom Christopher Pröstler (CMS), Federica Bocci (DLA Piper), Sarah Böck (Paragon Advocacy), and Nadja Al Kanawati (WilmerHale) navigated the audience through the commonalities and idiosyncrasies of the laws of Germany, Italy, Austria and Switzerland in recognition and enforcement proceedings. Benedetta Coppo (CAM) concluded with statistical data on CAM awards, with a focus on dissenting opinions. After drawing up the identikit of “the dissenter”, she noted that with the pool of arbitrators becoming younger, more gender-balanced and professionally diverse, the trajectory should be towards less split tribunals.

Moderator Maria Theresia Roerig Corsini (BDC Legal) engaged the audience in the third section in a lively discussion centering on four topical issues. (1) Wolfram Buchwitz (Universität Würzburg) brought everyone back to the Romans’ time and to contemporary Italy by suggesting to introduce fixed deadlines for arbitral tribunals under German law. (2) Fabio Santacroce (ArbLit) presented the reformed Italian regime on arbitral interim relief, pointing to the most striking novelties: (a) the tribunal’s exclusive jurisdiction after its constitution, (b) court challenges, and (c) the enforcement of tribunal’s interim measures as if they were court orders. (3) Vincent Wächter (Federal Ministry of Justice) advocated for domestic courts’ full review of arbitration agreements when deciding upon staying proceedings on grounds of equality and the right to be heard. (4) Jakob Horn (Taylor Wessing) encouraged for the sake of legal certainty the enactment of national legislation on emergency arbitrator proceedings, also with a view to the current lack thereof in the draft bill of the Federal Ministry of Justice on the modernisation of the German arbitration law.

Wolfram Buchwitz illustrates the notion of fixed time limits in arbitration under the Italian c.p.c.

Rejoiced to have extended this initiative to all German-speaking countries in the Alps, informal talks continued over a convivial dinner in the beating heart of Berlin.

Martina Magnarelli, Elisa Bisi


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