Multi-party and multi-contract arbitration—an introduction
Multi-party and multi-contract arbitration—an introduction

The following Arbitration guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Multi-party and multi-contract arbitration—an introduction
  • The arbitration agreement and tribunal appointment
  • Conducting multi-party arbitration
  • Drafting multi-party/multi-contract arbitration agreements
  • Joinder and consolidation
  • Institutional and UNCITRAL provisions on multi-party arbitration, joinder and consolidation

Multi-party and multi-contract disputes can arise in a variety of ways, eg:

  1. multi-party and single contract—eg, multiple investors party to a joint venture agreement

  2. multi-contract—eg, a company entering into several agreements with banks, contractors and investors to finance a project

  3. multi-party and multi-contract—eg, a construction contract between a developer and a contractor who then contracts with sub-contractors

Common issues or challenges in multi-party arbitration include (but are not limited to):

  1. the appointment of the tribunal

  2. the joinder of parties and the consolidation of proceedings

Bernard Hanotiau lists further potential issues in the introduction to his co-edited work, Multiparty Arbitration (ICC).

The arbitration agreement and tribunal appointment

If the arbitration agreement is contained in a contract to which there are more than two parties, the author must pay particular attention to the method by which the tribunal is to be appointed. Usually, either the parties or an institution on their behalf would make a joint appointment of one arbitrator or, if there is to be a three-person tribunal, the parties would each appoint an arbitrator and those two arbitrators will then jointly appoint a third arbitrator. However, where there are, say, five parties to a contract, they may argue that they are each entitled to appoint an arbitrator. While theoretically this may work, tribunals usually consist of one or three persons for practical