Posts Tagged ‘Litigation’

Litigation v/s Arbitration – what does this mean for your business?

Tuesday, August 1st, 2017

In 2011, Suzuki Motor Corporation commenced arbitration proceedings in London with the ICC International Court of Arbitration, in order to compel Volkswagen AG to dispose of its Suzuki shares to Suzuki or Suzuki’s designated third party. It was only last year that Suzuki and Volkswagen finally came to a settlement after working its way through the International Court of Arbitration in London (ICC).

The companies originally believed their strategic partnership would advance their global presence and spur the development of new, eco-efficient vehicles and engines. However, in less than two years, Suzuki cancelled the agreement and initiated arbitration proceedings, claiming Volkswagen AG did not treat it fairly as they did not allow Suzuki access to its core technology. However, Volkswagen accused Suzuki of doing deals with its European competitor Fiat, in breach of their agreement.

In the final settlement to end the companies’ dispute with each other, Suzuki agreed to pay Volkswagen AG an undisclosed amount for various breaches. The ICC panel also ordered Volkswagen AG to sell its stake in Suzuki. As predicted, due to the confidential nature of arbitration, Suzuki have not disclosed the settlement sum.

What is Arbitration?

Arbitration is an alternative to litigation as a means of resolving disputes. It is based on all parties’ agreement where all parties must agree to submit the dispute in question to arbitration and abide by the decision. Like a judgment, the decision of an arbitral tribunal is final and binding. However, arbitration differs fundamentally from litigation in the following ways:

Contractual basis – Apart from statutory arbitration, the basis of arbitration is contract. The rights and obligations of the parties to arbitrate their dispute arise from the arbitration agreement they have agreed.

Jurisdiction – The parties usually choose where the arbitration is to take place, that is in which country.

Procedure – In contrast to the appointment of a judge to preside over court proceedings, the parties to an arbitration are able to agree the procedure for selecting their arbitral tribunal. It is therefore possible, where the dispute is of a technical nature for example, for parties to appoint a tribunal with a high level of expertise in the area. Establishing the identity of the arbitral tribunal early on also allows parties to submit evidence to the arbitrators who may then identify key issues in the dispute as early as possible, whereas a judge will usually be assigned later in the proceedings or a day prior to the Trial

Confidentiality – Arbitration may be preferable where the parties wish for matters to remain confidential. Hearings are usually held in private and the fact that a party is involved in arbitral proceedings is not usually in the public domain. Furthermore, English law recognises an implied duty of confidentiality preventing disclosure of the documents produced in arbitration.

Finality – Whereas a court judgment will often be subject to appeals, national legislation typically only allows for appeal of arbitral awards in very limited circumstances. These high thresholds mean that in most cases the initial award will be final. This may appeal to parties who are seeking a definitive result and do not want the dispute to be ongoing. However, this of course works both ways and parties who do not achieve the award they were hoping for will only have a limited right to appeal.

Enforcement of awards – Decisions of an arbitral tribunal are widely enforceable abroad by virtue of several conventions, in particular the New York Convention. Other forms of alternative dispute resolution (such as mediation) are non-binding and depend on the parties concluding a settlement agreement

Bloomsbury Law- Arbitration Services

London has become one of the world’s most popular international arbitration centres in recent years. Therefore, access to high-quality advice and representation for parties involved in arbitration matters in London is crucial.

At Bloomsbury Law, our lawyers have experience of not only the substantive law relating to international arbitration but also the effective and efficient conduct of arbitral proceedings.

Our team works with clients to design and implement a process tailor-made for the circumstances of each case we handle, from the selection of arbitrators with appropriate experience, expertise, and availability, to the adoption of a bespoke procedural timetable focused on the earliest available hearing window.

Our philosophy is that arbitration, as an alternative to court proceedings, should be conducted by all participants in a way designed to ensure a swift and certain outcome, particularly in high-value, commercially sensitive matters where the resolution of the dispute is of critical importance to the parties.

Examples of recent cases include:

  • Acting for a luxury goods manufacturer in ICC arbitration proceedings arising out of the termination of a Distribution Agreement in Eastern Europe.
  • Acting for a leading telecommunications technology provider in ICC arbitration proceedings to defend a multi-million-dollar claim for breach of contract under Korean law.
  • Acting for a multi-national joint venture in disputes relating to the damage of air freight goods incorporating the ICC arbitration rules.
  • Acting for a UK train operator in a successful appeal from arbitration to the High Court in respect of the operation of an industry compensation scheme for delays.
  • Acting in a complex international dispute between Saudi and Taiwanese companies relating to termination and good faith provisions.
  • Claim in the English Courts to challenge an arbitration award on grounds of serious irregularity and error of law.

Areas of Expertise

Our Litigation Department has the ability and resources to handle all types of disputes but is particularly active in the following areas:

Contact us

Our Commercial Litigation and Dispute Resolution team is headed by Jamil Ahmud and Nisha Chopra.

Jamil Ahmud is a Partner and lawyer of Bloomsbury Law who acts for a broad range of clients including institutions, individuals, developers, entrepreneurs, investors and private companies and has acquired a reputation as a tough but sensible litigator.

Nisha Chopra is a lawyer of Bloomsbury Law who advises and represents individuals and companies in respect of all aspects of litigation. She handles a wide variety of corporate and commercial contractual disputes, shareholder disputescivil fraud matters and tortious clams. She also has considerable experience drafting and negotiating commercial contracts and advising on all aspects of intellectual property law.

If you would like more information, or you feel that you have a strong claim that you would like to pursue, please get in contact with Jamil Ahmud or Nisha Chopra  on 0207 998 7777.

Litigation Services

Fines For Using Mobile Phone While Driving To Double

Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

The popularity of social media has had a significant increase on our mobile phone usage and this is noticeable with increased number of road traffic offences and serious accidents occurring in the UK. Motorists often forget about the dangers that they pose while being distracted by their mobile phones and that they are a significant threat to themselves and others.

Mobile phone use while driving has been illegal since December 2003. However, the UK government has issued new harsher laws in order to tackle this problem in order to make it as socially unacceptable as drink driving. New laws on using mobile phones whilst driving came into effect on 1 March 2017. The important details that you must be aware of are:

  • Under the old rules, the penalty for using a phone whilst driving was £100. It has now been doubled to £200.
  • The points penalty have also doubled, from three to six points on the driver’s licence.
  • These changes will affect new drivers who passed their driving test less than 2 years of the offence as they will have their licences automatically revoked.
  • If a driver is caught twice and accumulates the maximum 12-points limit, the driver will automatically appear in court and face a penalty fine of £1,000 and a driving ban of at least 6 months.

It is important to bear in mind that the law applies as long as the engine of the vehicle is on. You are not allowed to use your phone while stopped in traffic, at the traffic lights or when parked and your engine is on. There is still some confusion on the usage of hands-free devices or using your phone as a navigation device whilst in a vehicle. While it is permitted to use your phone as satellite navigation, it has to be placed in a holder which is out of 45-degree angle of the driver’s view. You also cannot touch the navigation device to reprogram it whilst the engine is on. The hands-free devices are also permissible, however you cannot touch the device to answer or end the call.

One may wonder if the law on mobile phone usage changed could it potentially affect our ability to eat or smoke whilst driving? There is no such law prohibiting you from eating or smoking, however you must remember to use common sense as you still may be prosecuted if it is proven that these actions distracted you and that you were not in complete control of the vehicle which lead you to driving carelessly.

These changes to the law will no doubt act as a deterrent and will make us all drivers more aware of their behaviour whilst driving. Your safety and safety on others on the road are paramount. A call, text message or Facebook update will now have to wait until you reach your destination.

If you need advice on road traffic offences, contact us online or speak to one of our dedicated litigation lawyers on 0207 998 7777 for a free initial consultation. With our vast experience in the field, our team will work with you to ensure this process runs as smooth as possible. All information you provide us with is treated with the utmost confidentiality.

We will contact you no later than the next working day to arrange a meeting at our offices in London W1 to advise on the agreement.

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