Is there a concept in your country providing for class-action or group arbitration? If so, are there any limitations to the arbitrability of such claims or requirements that must be met before such claims may be arbitrated?

International Arbitration

Austria Small Flag Austria

No such particular rules exist in Austria. Hence, also for arbitrations with more than two parties, all parties must to be bound by the same arbitration agreement. See question 20 above on third party participation in Austrian arbitrations.

France Small Flag France

Although class actions were introduced in 2014 in France, they were limited to consumer cases. Although many discussions have taken place in this regard, class arbitration or group arbitration is not recognized in France for several reasons, among which is the non-arbitrability of consumer disputes under French law.

Portugal Small Flag Portugal

There is no legal provision foreseeing class-action or group arbitration. To this date there has been no class actions in arbitration procedures.

Romania Small Flag Romania

The arbitration law does not address class action or group arbitration.

Sweden Small Flag Sweden

Class-action or group arbitration is not established under Swedish law.

New Zealand Small Flag New Zealand

There are no specific procedural rules or statutes facilitating class actions in New Zealand. New Zealand claimants must rely on existing procedural rules of court to bring class actions which are known as “representative actions”. A claim can proceed by way of representative action if those being represented have “the same interest in the subject matter of a proceeding” as the representative party (High Court Rules, rule 4.24). Principles relating to class actions have developed through the bringing of three high-profile legal actions which have proceeded as class actions in all but strict legal name: Houghton v Saunders [2014] NZHC 1828, Cooper v ANZ Bank New Zealand Ltd [2013] NZHC 2827 and Strathboss Kiwifruit Ltd v Attorney-General [2015] NZHC 1596.

Without specific procedural rules or statutes, class actions in New Zealand can be arbitrated only with the positive consent of all parties, so an opt-out class is not possible. We are not aware of any class action or group arbitrations that have occurred in New Zealand to date.

Switzerland Small Flag Switzerland

Swiss law does not stipulate the concept of class actions or group arbitration. However, according to the art. 376 para 1 CPC arbitration may be initiated by joint parties provided that all parties are connected by one or more corresponding arbitration agreements and the claims are identical or at least factually connected. The commencement of arbitration proceedings by joint parties in international arbitration is also possible based on the same principles.

Presently, there are political discussions ongoing relating to the introduction of class actions in Switzerland (albeit not in an as broad manner as it exists in the United States). To our knowledge, there is currently no assessment as to when these discussions will conclude and what the results will be.

UAE Small Flag UAE

The CPC, DIFC Arbitration Law and ADGM Arbitration Regulations Law contain no provisions on class-action arbitration or group arbitration.

Malaysia Small Flag Malaysia

In Malaysia, there is no concept of class-action or group arbitration. As discussed in question 9, Malaysian courts lack the jurisdiction to consolidate arbitral proceedings.

United States Small Flag United States

Class-action arbitration exists in the United States, but it is very limited. First, class arbitrations cannot be imposed on commercial parties unless explicitly provided for in an arbitration agreement. Stolt-Nielsen S.A. v. AnimalFeeds Int’l Corp., 559 U.S. 662 (2010). Second, contractual provisions waiving the right to class arbitration are enforceable. AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion, 563 U.S. 333 (2011). Because standard commercial contracts generally contain such waivers, these decisions have reduced the prevalence of class arbitration.

Singapore Small Flag Singapore

No. The IAA does not contain any provisions on class-action arbitration or group arbitration.

Brazil Small Flag Brazil

There is not yet in Brazil the possibility of using arbitration for group litigation. However, experts point out that this possibility is a viable trend for the coming years, so that the use of arbitration to resolve disputes groups can be inspired by the class action of the US law.

Canada Small Flag Canada

There is no authority on class or group arbitrations in Canada. There also appears to be no bar to proceeding with a class claim in arbitration, but there is no authority directly on point. One court noted that “there is no Canadian jurisprudence which even remotely suggests that class-wide arbitration can be ordered within the context of a class action”. However, courts have involved arbitrators for certain determinations in class proceedings, “including the determination of individual damages and legal fees owing by a defendant”.

Panama Small Flag Panama

The Panama Arbitration Law does not provide for class-action or group arbitration.

Spain Small Flag Spain

Class actions are not foresaw in Spanish Procedural Law nor in the Arbitration Law.

Turkey Small Flag Turkey

There is no concept in relation to the class-action or group arbitration under Turkish law, although Turkish law allows multiparty lawsuits and the “collective lawsuit” through litigation. The collective lawsuit allows that the associations and other legal entities may initiate a lawsuit to protect their members’ or the society’s - that they represent – right on behalf of themselves to determine the relevants’ rights or remove the unlawful circumstances.

Germany Small Flag Germany

No. However, the task force of the German Federal Ministry of Justice that is examining the current arbitration law, has started to discuss whether new forms of arbitrations should be supported. Further, arbitration institutions provide specific rules for shareholder disputes that account for a higher number of parties.

Italy Small Flag Italy

There are no provisions under Italian law that provide for class-action or group arbitration.

United Kingdom Small Flag United Kingdom

Yes, by agreement of all the parties. See question 9 above. Articles 7 - 10 of the ICC Rules allows for consolidation of multiple arbitrations.

Ireland Small Flag Ireland

There is no provision for class-action or group arbitration under the Arbitration Act.

Poland Small Flag Poland

Class or group arbitration is not known in Poland, in contrast to the class action procedure available before state courts.

For the time being, no formal steps aiming to introduce class or group arbitration to Polish arbitration law have been taken.

Updated: February 7, 2017