Can claims under more than one contract be brought in the one arbitral proceeding? Can an arbitral tribunal with its seat in your country consolidate separate arbitral proceedings under one or more contracts, and, if so, in what circumstances?

International Arbitration

Egypt Small Flag Egypt

The Arbitration Law makes no distinction between a multi-party arbitration agreement and a bilateral arbitration agreement.

Austria Small Flag Austria

Absent an agreement to the contrary, parties may bring claims under several contracts in one proceeding as long as the arbitration agreements are compatible.

The Austrian arbitration law contains no provisions on the consolidation of proceedings. The parties are free to agree on such consolidation, e.g. by agreeing on rules, which provide for this. Without express authorisation by the parties, however, the arbitral tribunal cannot consolidate two separate proceedings, as the law limits the arbitral tribunal’s discretion to structure and conduct (section 594(1) ACCP) to that very proceedings.

Nevertheless, an agreement to consolidate proceedings is provided for in the Vienna Rules if their application is agreed on. Art 15 stipulates that the secretary general of VIAC decides on a party’s request to consolidate proceedings if the designated/appointed arbitrators and the place of arbitration are identical.

France Small Flag France

French law does not preclude the parties from bringing claims arising out of more than one contract in one arbitral proceeding. In defining arbitration agreements, Article 1442 CCP provides that an arbitration clause is an agreement by which the parties to one or more contracts undertake to submit to arbitration disputes that may arise in relation to the contract(s). Although Article 1442 CCP is not applicable in international arbitration, pursuant to Article 1506 CCP, many scholars are of the opinion that the definition that Article 1442 CCP provides for the arbitration clause also applies in international arbitration. Therefore, French law allows the parties to bring claims arising out of more than one contract in one arbitral proceeding, on the condition that they consent.

In addition, nothing under French law precludes the consolidation of separate arbitral proceedings. It has been established, however, that the consolidation cannot take place without the explicit or implicit consent of the parties. Unless the consent is explicit, it is highly likely that arbitral tribunals will agree to consolidate arbitral proceedings only if the claims in question arose out of related contracts and the arbitration agreements in question are well-matched in terms of the applicable procedures. (See Eurodif Case Paris, 21 February 2002, Rev Arb 2002.955). In the absence of explicit or implicit consent of the parties, tribunals are usually more inclined to reject consolidation. Arbitral tribunals consider that the intention of the parties was not to consolidate arbitral proceedings when the arbitration agreements are not well-matched. French courts have also confirmed awards that were rendered in consolidated arbitrations. (see Paris Court of Appeal, 22 October 2009, Case No. 08/13030; 5 November 2009, Case No. 08/12816; 17 December 2009, Case No. 08/15208).

Portugal Small Flag Portugal

Regarding the possibility of bringing claims under more than one contract to the one arbitral proceeding the law is silent, thus one may consider that this falls in the general processual rules since all are bound by arbitration agreement.

In what refers to the consolidation of separate arbitral proceedings and once the Principle of Consent is of major importance in arbitration, the Arbitral Tribunal can´t do it against the parties will.

Romania Small Flag Romania

Although the law does not state to this effect in any provision, claims arising out of or in connection with more than one contract may be brought in one arbitral proceeding as long as the arbitration agreements are compatible with respect to the number of arbitrators adjudicating the case and the constitution of the arbitral tribunal, for example.

As for the consolidation of the proceedings, the arbitration law in Romania neither makes any specific provision for it similar to the provision currently existing under ICC rules, nor does it exclude such possibility. Therefore, theoretically, the consolidation of arbitral proceedings is possible. The traditional view is that the parties’ consent is required for the consolidation of separate arbitral proceedings where the arbitral tribunals are constituted of different arbitration panels. Otherwise, constitution of the arbitral tribunal may be considered to breach the arbitration agreement.

Sweden Small Flag Sweden

Different arbitration proceedings may be consolidated with the consent of the parties. However, a court cannot order consolidation of arbitration proceedings.

In case of necessary joinder, where several parties’ legal rights and obligations are inseparable, one arbitrator must be appointed for all such joint parties. If the joint appointment fails, the district court, or where applicable the arbitration institute, will make the appointment upon request of the other party.

Furthermore, in case a dispute is pending under the SCC Rules, the SCC may under certain circumstances consolidate the pending dispute with a new dispute between the same parties.

UAE Small Flag UAE

The arbitration chapter of the CPC does not address the possibility of consolidating claims under multiple contracts in the same proceeding. Further, the DIAC and ADCCAC Rules do not explicitly deal with consolidation.

The DIFC Arbitration Law is also silent on consolidation of multiple arbitrations. Further, the DIFC-LCIA Arbitration Rules currently in force do not provide for consolidation of multiple arbitrations.

The ADGM Arbitration Regulations explicitly allow parties to agree to the consolidation of two or more arbitrations or to holding concurrent hearings. However, a tribunal does not have the power to order consolidation on its own motion or discretion, but only when authorised by the parties.

Switzerland Small Flag Switzerland

In domestic arbitration, art. 367 para 2 CPC provides the possibility for claims between the same parties to be joined in the same arbitration proceeding, provided that these claims are factually connected and the subject of corresponding arbitration agreements between the respective parties. In contrast, the legislation on international arbitration is silent in this regard.

Separate arbitral proceedings conducted under the Swiss Rules may be consolidated pursuant to art. 4 para 1 of the Swiss Rules. The decision on the consolidation of separate proceedings is made by the arbitral tribunal after consulting with both, the parties and any confirmed arbitrator in all proceedings, taking into account the relevant circumstances of the arbitral proceedings in question. Consolidation is equally possible if the parties to the separate arbitral proceedings are not identical.

New Zealand Small Flag New Zealand

Yes, provided – in the case of an international arbitration – that the parties have agreed that clause 2 of Schedule 2 to the Act applies. Where proceedings all have the same arbitral tribunal, the tribunal may, on the application of at least one party in each proceeding, order those proceedings to be consolidated (clause 2(1) of Schedule 2). Where proceedings are in different tribunals, any of the tribunals may make a provisional order to consolidate proceedings (clause 2(2) of schedule 2). The order becomes effective once provisional orders have been made on behalf of all the parties. The High Court can also make a consolidation order upon application by a party in any of the proceedings.

Malaysia Small Flag Malaysia

In principle, claims under more than one contract may be brought in one arbitral proceeding.

Separate arbitral proceedings under one or more contracts may only be consolidated either where the parties mutually agree to the procedure, or where an arbitral tribunal, conferred such power by the agreement of the parties, so determines. It should be noted that an arbitral tribunal lacks inherent jurisdiction to consolidate proceedings. Similarly, Malaysian courts do not have jurisdiction to consolidate arbitral proceedings.

United States Small Flag United States

Arbitration statutes and court decisions in the United States impose few specific requirements as to the conduct of proceedings. Hence, the conduct of arbitral proceedings in the United States, including the question of consolidation, will be governed almost wholly by the parties’ agreement or the arbitral rules designated therein. It is generally presumed that parties to an arbitration agreement intend that all disputes falling within the scope of the agreement go before the same arbitral tribunal. In addition, if an arbitration agreement specifically provides for consolidation of disputes arising out of more than one arbitration agreement, then courts or arbitrators may order consolidation in accord with the parties’ agreement. There is also precedent for consolidation even where the arbitration agreement does not specifically provide for it, where multiple arbitration agreements with identical clauses cover the same subject matter. See Green Tree Fin. Corp. v. Bazzle, 539 U.S. 444 (2003).

Singapore Small Flag Singapore

The IAA does not address the possibility of consolidating multiple claims under multiple contracts in the same proceeding. It is also silent on consolidation of multiple arbitrations.
The current SIAC Arbitration Rules, which came into effect on 1 August 2016, expressly address multi-contract disputes and consolidation. They provide that a party may file an application to consolidate two or more arbitrations pending under the SIAC Arbitration Rules into a single arbitration if:

  • all parties have agreed to the consolidation;
  • all the claims in the arbitrations are made under the same arbitration agreement; or
  • the arbitration agreements are compatible, and: (i) the disputes arise out of the same legal relationship(s); (ii) the disputes arise out of contracts consisting of a principal contract and its ancillary contract(s); or (iii) the disputes arise out of the same transaction or series of transactions.

Brazil Small Flag Brazil

Yes, because there is no limitation on the Arbitration Law of the number of contracts that can be the object of a particular arbitration procedure, so that the only logic requirement applicable is that the contracts must be related to each other.

The Court of Justice of the State of Rio de Janeiro, on the occasion of the judgment of the appeal nº 0301553-55.2010.8.19.0001, decided that a single arbitral court may reunite different arbitration procedures, in cases where there is a plurality of issues within the same object and that there is the risk of conflicting decisions of each of the arbitration courts. According to this judgment, in those cases where the different arbitrations have related objects and where there is the risk of being rendered conflicting decisions, these separate arbitration proceedings should be brought together in a single arbitration, adopting the procedural rules about prevention and connection to define which arbitral court shall assume the processing of the related arbitration proceedings.

However, as there is no specific regulation in Law nº 9.307/96 on the connection and reunion of arbitration proceedings, this possibility shall be regulated by the regulations of the existing Arbitration Chambers in Brazil. According to the Regulation of the Market Arbitration Chamber, for example, when an arbitration request was made to have the object or cause of action common to another arbitral procedure already pending and governed by the Regulation in question, the President of the Arbitration Chamber, after hearing the parties, taking into account the circumstances and progress already achieved in the current procedure, may order the reunion of the procedures for joint trial, but this reunion will only be possible in the discovery phase of the arbitration procedure.

Canada Small Flag Canada

Courts have the power to consolidate proceedings. The circumstances in which consolidation is permitted depend on the rules being used. Claims can generally be consolidated if:

  • the parties agree to do so;
  • where separate claims are made under the same arbitration agreement; or
  • where the parties are the same.

Panama Small Flag Panama

The Panama Arbitration Law is silent as to whether claims under more than one contract can be brought in the one arbitral proceeding as well as on whether an arbitral tribunal with its seat in Panama can consolidate separate arbitral proceedings under one or more contracts.

However, the two main arbitral institutions in Panama have rules regarding the consolidation of arbitration proceedings.

The “Centro de Arbitraje y Conciliación de Panamá (CeCAP)” may, at the request of a party, consolidate two or more arbitrations into a single arbitration proceeding taking into account the progress of the proceedings, the legal relationship between the parties and the compatibility of the arbitration agreements. The center may also consolidate two or more arbitrations where the parties have agreed to consolidation.

The “Centro de Solución de Conflictos (CESCON)” may, at the request of a party, consolidate two or more arbitrations into a single arbitration proceeding provided that the disputes relate to the same legal relationship and that the time for filing or requesting the collection of evidence has not elapsed in any of the separate arbitration proceedings.

Spain Small Flag Spain

There is no clear provision in the Arbitration Law for this, but it is not prohibited, so that the arbitrators may consolidate claims or proceedings under their powers granted by art. 25 of the Arbitration Law. It is a practice not unknown that actually happens.

Turkey Small Flag Turkey

Turkish law does not specifically regulate the consolidation of the claims arising from different contracts in one arbitral proceeding; however, there is no restriction regarding this issue. In case the arbitration rules which will be applied to the dispute allows the consolidation, the claims arising from the different contracts can be consolidated. If the parties are unanimous to solve their separate disputes under one proceeding, there is no reason for rejection.

Germany Small Flag Germany

Pursuant to section 1029 (1) ZPO, an arbitration agreement is an agreement by the parties that they subject themselves to the decision passed by an arbitral tribunal “on all or individual disputes that have arisen between them with regard to a specific legal relationship”. Thus, several disputes or claims under one contract (i.e. one specific legal relationship) can be brought before the same arbitral tribunal. If claims arising under or in connection with several contracts, they can be brought before the same arbitral tribunal only if the same arbitration agreement or arbitration clause applies to all claims and if the parties are the same.

There are no specific provisions under German law on the issue whether one arbitral tribunal may consolidate separate arbitral proceedings. Thus, the consolidation depends on the consent of the parties as an expression of their party autonomy. Institutional arbitration rules often contain provisions that and under which circumstances arbitral proceedings can be consolidated.

Italy Small Flag Italy

No, in principle it is not possible to file claims arising from different contracts and different arbitration clauses in the same arbitral proceeding. However, if the arbitration clauses are exactly the same, and the relevant contracts are connected, it could be possible to consolidate arbitral proceedings.

United Kingdom Small Flag United Kingdom

Yes, but only with the agreement of the parties (section 35). There have been exceptions to this in limited circumstances where there (a) agency, (b) piercing of the corporate veil or (c) assignment.

Ireland Small Flag Ireland

It is permissible under Irish law to consolidate arbitral proceedings. The consolidation of arbitral proceedings may only take place where all the parties to each of the constituent arbitral proceedings agree to consolidate the matters into a single set of arbitral proceedings.

Poland Small Flag Poland

Polish arbitration law does not address the ability of an arbitral tribunal to consolidate separate arbitral proceedings. It appears that consolidation may occur if the disputes are related, the arbitration clauses are compatible, and all parties consent.

Under the Rules of the Court of Arbitration at the Polish Chamber of Commerce, consolidation requires an order by the tribunal, which should be made with due consideration of all relevant circumstances and the interests of the parties, particularly the need to ensure efficiency of the proceeding.

If a party asks for consolidation, the following conditions must be met:

  • The composition of the tribunal in each of the proceedings is the same.
  • The parties’ claims in the proceedings subject to consolidation are based on the same arbitration agreement, or the claims are related, even if based on different arbitration agreements.

Furthermore, cases in which the parties are not identical may also be consolidated if the composition of the tribunal in each of the proceedings is the same, the condition concerning the claims is met, and the parties to all of the proceedings consent.

Updated: October 17, 2017