There was a high increase in arbitration cases submitted to the court under the Swiss Rules of International Arbitration, according to the Swiss Chambers’ Court of Arbitration and Mediation.
According to the Swiss Chamber, a total of 104 new arbitration cases were filed in 2009, an increase of more than fifty percent over the number of cases submitted in 2008.
Statistics released by the Swiss Chamber indicate that 48% of the parties were from Western Europe, 24% from Switzerland, 6% from Eastern Europe and Russia, 12% from Asia/Middle East and 5% from Northern America. 43% of the new arbitrations were heard by a panel of three arbitrators, 53% by a sole arbitrator.
The increase in Swiss arbitrations is attributable to the expedited procedures available under the Swiss Rules. The expedited procedures have gained substantial international exposure for their cost-efficiency and speed.
Pursuant to Article 42 of the Swiss Rules, cases involving amounts in dispute of less than CHF 1 million are referred to expedited arbitration. In expedited proceedings, the parties are, in principle, limited to one Statement of Claim and one Statement of Defense.
Under the expedited rules, the arbitral tribunal must hold a single hearing for the examination of the witnesses and expert witnesses as well as for oral argument and the award shall be made within six months from the date when the file was transmitted to the arbitral tribunal.
Also contributing to the expediency of the process is the rule that the arbitral tribunal must state the reasons upon which the award is based in summary form only—no lengthy opinions here.
The Swiss Rules are embedded below:
The Swiss Chambers expedited procedures are a welcome change over other arbitrations that can unnecessarily drag on indefintely. The success of the expedited procedures confirms the need of parties for lean and efficient arbitration particularly in smaller cases.