ANNUAL REVIEW

Litigation & Alternative Dispute Resolution 2013

December 2013  |  LITIGATION & DISPUTE RESOLUTION

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Financier Worldwide canvasses the opinions of leading professionals around the world on the latest trends in litigation & alternative dispute resolution.

 

UNITED STATES

Stephen P. Younger

Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP

"More and more disputes are going to arbitration, particularly in the international arena. With greater frequency, techniques used in the court setting, such as dispositive motions and broad discovery, are being transported into the arbitration arena. We are particularly seeing more commercial disputes in the fields of telecommunications and energy, which are fairly hot business sectors."

 

CANADA

Stephen Antle

Borden Ladner Gervais LLP

"In Canada we are seeing increases in regulatory activism, particularly in the investor and securities fields. Landmark court decisions are also pending on anti-trust claims by indirect purchasers, which will have significant implications for consumer class actions. Companies are also often drawn into litigation and administrative proceedings between governments and First Nations about development, land claim and treaty issues."

 

CAYMAN ISLANDS

Ian Huskisson

Travers Thorp Alberga

"As a major financial centre, the Cayman Islands have seen their fair share of disputes involving investment funds. A recurring theme has been investors seeking to place funds into liquidation where, for example, redemptions have been suspended or where the fund is in soft wind down."

 

BRAZIL

Paulo Dóron Rehder de Araujo

SABZ Advogados

"Brazil is a country known for having a high amount of law suits filed every year and commercial disputes are no exception to this rule. Moreover, as Brazil was chosen to host two of the major world events of this decade – the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games – a great number of considerable infrastructure projects were put in place, resulting in many disputes between construction, service and insurance companies, and local governments."

 

MEXICO

Marco Tulio Venegas

Von Wobeser y Sierra

"The most recurring themes are commercial disputes arising from distribution, franchise and joint venture agreements, both international and domestic. Due to the recent enactment by the Mexican government of a reform agenda to several sectors of the economy, the use of arbitration has increased significantly in various industries."

 

CHILE

Gonzalo Cordero

Morales & Besa

"The main recurring themes are consumer protection and disputes deriving from construction contracts. Regarding the former, what is particularly significant is the favour that class actions have obtained following a recent modification which eliminated certain admissibility criteria and made the applicable procedure faster. At the same time recent ordinary court rulings in relation to the fines applicable on suppliers have resulted in an increase in this type of action."

 

ARGENTINA

Alberto Molinario

Marval, O’Farrell & Mairal

"Commercial litigation is mainly driven by three factors: first, the general uncertainty about the law; second, inflation – a rate over 25 percent yearly is attractive for debtors to delay payment as much as possible; and third, the tight exchange control that was established by the Central Bank in October 2011. The banking and insurance industries are among those most regularly sued."

 

UNITED KINGDOM

Jane Colston

Stewarts Law LLP

"We are seeing increasing business demand for third party funding of commercial litigation. Often the driver is to spread the cost-risk and secure predictable costs. We have seen significant new amendments to the civil procedure rules this year; with emphasis on reducing litigation costs – London litigation is often perceived as expensive; and rebalancing costs liabilities between the parties by amendments to the claimable costs of litigation funding, the introduction of contingency fees for general litigation, and adjusted costs liabilities when suitable settlement offers are made."

 

IRELAND

Liam Kennedy

A&L Goodbody

"There is still a strong pipeline of litigation related to the 2008-2009 economic crisis. In addition, a great deal of the litigation we are seeing relates to the financial services sector. This includes litigation between the parties to unsuccessful property and other investment developments, claims against professionals such as solicitors, auditors and funds service providers, large scale recovery actions by banks against former customers such as developers, and regulatory enforcement actions."

 

SWITZERLAND

Dieter Hofmann

Walder Wyss

"There are a number of recurring themes that we are seeing, in particular joint-venture and shareholders disputes, post M&A disputes, construction disputes, but also a number of debt and pledge enforcement in real estate transactions. We are also seeing an increasing number of cases involving interim relief. These matters stem from a wide variety of industries and sectors."

 

RUSSIA

Artem Kukin

YUST Law Firm

"There is no doubt that court cases and commercial disputes of the most diverse types keep occurring. It is quite difficult to point out any unique or exceedingly rare types of disputes. Traditionally, disputes are related to non-performance or undue performance by the parties of civil relations under certain contractual obligations."

 

SWEDEN

Krister Azelius

Advokatfirman Vinge KB

"The number of commercial disputes is increasing following what I would say is an international trend. Swedish companies nowadays consider disputes to be a normal part of conducting business and have developed a more modern view on this by trying to deal with the dispute separately from normal business relations with the counterparty. This trend is true for more or less all industries and sectors."

 

FINLAND

Mikko Leppä

Hammarström Puhakka Partners

"It can be stated that the current global – and local – financial situation is reflected in the number and type of commercial disputes. First, it seems that the threshold to bring disputes before public courts or arbitral tribunals has decreased. Secondly, the uncertain financial circumstances have also affected the substance of the disputes, as we seem to be facing a rising trend of insolvency related disputes – recovery of assets to bankruptcy estate, management liability and so on."

 

CHINA & HONG KONG

Nick Gall

Gall

"We continue to see the usual broad range of commercial and financial disputes, both from SMEs and MNEs. The past 18 months have also seen a significant upswing in disputes between PRC-based entities, largely involving oil, gas and energy infrastructure. We have also seen an increase in shareholder, directors’ and joint venture disputes, including disputes involving family-controlled companies in the South-East Asia region."

 

INDIA

S. S. Naganand

Just Law

"A significant number of construction related disputes are being referred for arbitration. Infrastructure projects like electricity, metro and highways are the areas where we are seeing a number of disputes."

 

SINGAPORE

Jamie Harrison

Addleshaw Goddard LLP

"Although we tend to view Singapore as a market in its own right, it is also the centre of South East Asia, or the ASEAN region. The overriding theme in the region is a reliance on international arbitration to resolve commercial disputes and Singapore is the major centre for doing so. In this region, Singapore is the pre-eminent centre and increasingly challenges Hong Kong as the centre in Asia itself."


CONTRIBUTORS

Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP

Borden Ladner Gervais LLP

Travers Thorp Alberga

SABZ Advogados

Von Wobeser y Sierra

Morales & Besa

Marval, O’Farrell & Mairal

Stewarts Law LLP

A&L Goodbody

Walder Wyss

YUST Law Firm

Advokatfirman Vinge KB

Hammarström Puhakka Partners

Gall

Just Law

Addleshaw Goddard LLP


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