The Effect Of Brexit On International Arbitration

Author:Ms Rini Agarwal
Profession:STA Law Firm

'When life gives you orange, make orange juice'1

Does life always give oranges, you may ask? To some, oranges are acidic but for a few a morning without orange juice is like a day without sunshine. They are packed with vitamin C and...but hang on; this was not my topic...back to business.

Not all news is interesting and as such some news calls for rethinking. These headlines may mean more than sunshine and oranges so perhaps may leave a reader shocked, in deep thinking, or intrigued. That is exactly what happened with the Brexit.

Britain's exit from the European Union shocked nations across the globe. The people of Britain voted for a British exit, or Brexit, from the EU in a historic referendum in June 2016. The outcome has prompted jubilant celebrations among Euro-sceptics around Europe and sent economic shockwaves around the globe. There are several concerns and issues which are unanswered and have left a lot of businesses with the impatient thought of what happens next. This article intends to present a brief on the implications surrounding international arbitration and the global importance of London as a seat of arbitration.

Numerous jurists have expressed their views that the position post-Brexit would remain unchanged when it comes to London as a seat of arbitration. In the midst of 2016, when Britain showcased their exit from the UK, London was the seat of 4,738 international commercial arbitrations, mediations, and adjudications. The main legislation that provides the framework for arbitration in the UK, the Arbitration Act 1996, is not triggered by EU law and will continue in force following the UK's exit from the EU. The Act remains supportive and it is unlikely to impose any adverse effects. Considering the interpretation of Arbitration Act over the last two decades, the English and Welsh courts have majorly developed arbitration friendly and noninterventionist approach, which we assume uninterrupted with Brexit.

It is imperative to consider that the UK remains a signatory to Convention on the Recognition of Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards 1958 (more commonly known as the New York Convention), which provides for the enforcement of arbitral awards across currently 156 jurisdictions, including all EU Member States. When the parties choose their contracts to be governed by English or Welsh Law, the choice of London as the arbitral seat is preferred.  The popularity of English and Welsh law (and also English language) in...

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