Russian Arbitration Association Launched in Moscow

At the end of 2012 a group of Russian arbitration practitioners announced their initiative to establish in Russia an arbitration association. Lawyers from more than 50 Russian and international law firms backed the initiative.

In May 2013 the founders officially registered the Russian Arbitration Association at the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation.

Approximately 70 members have already joined the Association. They include Russian, CIS and international law firms as well as individual practitioners specialising in arbitration.

The Association seeks to promote arbitration in Russia and other CIS countries, to make Russia a popular venue for arbitration, and to support Russian and foreign arbitrators having an interest in arbitration related to Russia.

The Association plans to make arbitration a more popular and widely acceptable method of dispute resolution. For a number of reasons arbitration remains not very popular in Russia:

  • Russian business frequently distrusts arbitration because of perceived abuses in the activities of some arbitral institutions. Besides reputable and independent arbitral institutions in Russia there are a lot of party-controlled arbitral tribunals. As a result, business has become sceptical towards arbitration on the whole.
  • Such abuses result in unfavourable treatment by the Russian state courts towards arbitral tribunals and their awards.
  • The quality of arbitration in Russia is irregular. There are arbitral institutions in Russia which assure high quality dispute resolution. However, the number of low-grade tribunals is overwhelming.

Owing to these reasons many Russian companies do not see effective mechanisms of arbitration in Russia, and therefore high-profile Russian disputes often escape abroad.

Law firms formed the bulk of the Association because they hold an interest in the development of effective arbitration mechanisms in the Russian jurisdiction.

The Association aims to reach its goals by various means. First of all the Association will formulate proposals to legislative authorities, judicial authorities and businesses on the development of arbitration in Russia and improvement of its legal environment.

One of the primary goals of the Association will consist in the creation of an efficient arbitral authority for administrating international and Russian domestic commercial disputes on the basis of the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules.

Based on an arbitration agreement of the parties, the Association will perform the following functions as specified by Article 6 of the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules:

  • assist the parties in the constitution of an arbitral tribunal;
  • consider challenges filed; and
  • administer the financial part of arbitration (arbitrators’ fees and administrative costs).

The Association will also provide the parties and the arbitrators with administrative support in organising arbitral proceedings, including, in particular, the maintenance of a relevant database and provision of information about premises for hearings, experts, interpreters, stenographers etc.

The Association will also keep a public database of arbitrators. Thus any interested person will be able to find potentially available arbitrators based on the criteria he specifies.

Another important area of activity will consist in the development and implementation of education programmes aimed at training arbitrators and counsel on dispute resolution procedures used in arbitration.

In addition the Association aims to promote arbitration in Russia and the CIS by organising and sponsoring conferences and workshops.

The Association held a general meeting in Moscow on 20 June 2013. At the meeting the members which represented law firms elected the Board, Arbitrators’ Nominating Committee and Internal Auditing Committee.

The voting resulted in the election of respected arbitration authorities from the UK, Belarus, Russia, Ukraine and France, for example, David Goldberg (Partner at White and Case, London), Ilya Nikiforov (Partner at EPAM, St. Petersburg), Noah Rubins (Partner at Freshfields, Paris) and Vladimir Khvalei (Partner at Baker & McKenzie, Moscow).

The Association is developing its website. The Russian/English language website will be available in September. The Association’s website will become a point of reference when it comes to arbitrating in Russia and the CIS, both for Russian and international users.

You can find more information about the Arbitration Association, including how to join the Association here.

In the CIS region besides the Russian Arbitration Association there is also the Ukrainian Arbitration Association which was established in September 2012. CIS Arbitration Forum previously wrote about it. Thus the arbitration community in the CIS strengthens their efforts to support and advance alternative dispute resolution in the region.

Dmitry Davydenko, Andrey Kalimanov

Muranov, Chernakov & Partners law firm

Post a Comment