The Brazilian Congress has approved Law No. 13.129/2015, with amendments to the Brazilian Arbitration Law (Law No. 9.307/96). The most relevant updates are as follows:

  • The possibility of public entities to use arbitration, whenever the dispute is related to disposable patrimonial rights.
  • The addition of an article to the Brazilian Corporate Law (Law No. 6.404/76) providing that an arbitration clause inserted in the company's bylaws is binding for all shareholders. Any dissenting shareholders can exercise their right to withdraw from the company.
  • The possibility for parties to seek judicial measures before the constitution of an arbitral tribunal in order to obtain a provisional or injunctive measure. After its constitution, the arbitral tribunal will have the authority to uphold, amend or revoke the measure granted by the judicial authority, and to grant new provisional and injunctive measures.
  • The creation of an arbitral letter, whereby the arbitral tribunal is able to communicate with the judicial courts and request the enforcement of measures granted by arbitral tribunal (e.g., the hearing of uncooperative witnesses).
  • The provision that the constitution of an arbitral tribunal interrupts the statute of limitation. The interruption is retroactive to the date of the request for the arbitration procedure and will be effective even if the arbitration is terminated on the basis of lack of jurisdiction.

In summary, the main purpose of the changes to the arbitration law is to encourage the use of the arbitration as an alternative method of dispute resolution, in order to reduce the number of conflicts brought to the judicial courts. Law No. 13.129/2015 came into force on July 27, 2015.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.