Comparative Guides
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Results: 4 Answers
International Arbitration
5.
The parties
5.1
Are there any restrictions on who can be a party to an arbitration agreement?
 
United States
There are no restrictions on who can be a party to an arbitration agreement. Notably, in Epic Sys Corp v Lewis, __US__, 2018 WL 2292444 (21 May 2018), a divided US Supreme Court ruled that class action waiver provisions in employer-imposed arbitration agreements are enforceable and do not violate the National Labor Relations Act. And on 1 November 2017, President Trump signed legislation overturning a rule of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that had prohibited providers of consumer financial services and products from relying on a pre-dispute arbitration agreement that bars a consumer from filing or participating in a class action.

Finally, when a proceeding is brought to enforce a judgment against a sovereign state, the proceeding is controlled by the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (28 USC § 1604) and the extensive case law developed under the statute. Foreign states are immune from liability, as well as discovery and the burdens of trial, unless one of the statutory exceptions to immunity applies.

For more information about this answer please contact: Jonathan Landy from Williams & Connolly
5.2
Are the parties under any duties in relation to the arbitration?
 
United States
Most domestic commercial arbitrations are governed by the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA). The FAA does not mandate that the arbitration be conducted under a specific set of procedural rules. Rather, the parties can specify in their agreement the rules under which the arbitration will be conducted – that is, whether the FAA, state law or other rules such as those provided by arbitral institutions (eg, the American Arbitration Association (AAA), the International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution or JAMS) shall apply. The contract should establish the procedural law and the substantive law that will apply to the arbitration; it is this law and the terms of the agreement that govern the duties of the parties (see Stolt–Nielsen SA v AnimalFeeds Int’l Corp, 559 US 662, 683-84 (2010) (where the FAA applies, arbitration agreements are to be enforced according to their terms)).

For more information about this answer please contact: Jonathan Landy from Williams & Connolly
5.3
Are there any provisions of law which deal with multi-party disputes?
 
United States
The FAA does not address multi-party disputes. However, the rules of the arbitral institutions do address multi-party practice. For example, Article 7 of the International Centre for Dispute Resolution Arbitration (Joinder of Additional Parties) provides in part: “A party wishing to join an additional party to the arbitration shall submit to the Administrator a Notice of Arbitration against the additional party.” An additional party cannot be joined after the confirmation or appointment of any arbitrator unless all parties, including the additional party, agree. Articles 8 and 9 apply to “claims between multiple parties” and “multiple contracts”. Claims may be made by any party against any other party, but “no new claims may be made after the Terms of Reference are signed or approved by the Court without authorization of the arbitral tribunal”. “[C]laims arising out of or in connection with more than one contract may be made in a single arbitration irrespective of whether such terms are made under one or more than one arbitration agreement under the Rules.”

For more information about this answer please contact: Jonathan Landy from Williams & Connolly