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By now it is clear that there are virtually no jurisdictions that are unaffected by COVID-19 or the international measures that have been put in place to try and contain and control it.
One of the areas of concern for our clients relates to their ongoing arbitrations. For arbitrations that were commenced before the current situation took hold, parties and tribunals find themselves in relatively new waters. How does one best run an arbitration that was started and planned before these new and extraordinary conditions took hold? Is it, and can it be, business as usual?
For most arbitrations, the short answer to this last question is “no”. The way in which virtually everyone does business has changed and this will necessarily impact on arbitrations.
The good news, however, is that arbitration was, in a way, designed for this sort of a situation. It is, or should be, flexible and responsive to party needs. Unlike, for example, court litigation, parties have easy access to their tribunals and are generally empowered to agree whatever procedures they consider appropriate to resolve their dispute.
But what does this mean in practice? Some of the key points you may want to consider in respect of your arbitrations that are already in progress, include:
How the current situation impacts on your arbitrations will very much depend on the specifics of your case. What is clear though is that it is likely that any arbitration that is currently in progress will be impacted in some way. It is for the parties and their tribunals to work together to sensibly try and identify and resolve those issues in an efficient and fair way that reflects the extraordinary situation we all find ourselves in.
Al Tamimi & Company offers one of the region’s foremost international arbitration practices. We have 17 offices across 9 countries in the region. This unrivalled footprint gives you access to expert arbitration lawyers throughout the Middle East & North Africa.
Disclaimer: This chat service should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional advice which takes account of your specific circumstances and any changes in the law and practice. No warranty is made as to the accuracy or completeness of the information provided via this service and no liability is accepted by Al Tamimi & Company Limited, its affiliates, partners or employees for any loss arising as a result of reliance upon the information provided.
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