Is there anything particular to note in your jurisdiction with regard to multi-party or multi-contract arbitration?

International Arbitration (3rd edition)

Egypt Small Flag Egypt

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

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.

Multi-party proceedings have received particular attention since the Dutco case (see Court of Cassation, First Civil Chamber, 7 January 1992, No. 89-18.708). In that case, the court held that the principle of equality of the parties in the designation of arbitrators is a matter of public policy, which may not be waived before the emergence of a dispute. Therefore, two or more defendants cannot be required to appoint jointly an arbitrator if the claimant has had the opportunity, alone, to designate an arbitrator. As a result of this decision, Article 1453 CCP provides that, if there are more than two parties to the dispute and they fail to agree on the procedure for constituting the arbitral tribunal, the person responsible for administering the arbitration or, where there is no such person, the juge d’appui shall appoint the arbitrator(s) (see Question 13).

Cyprus Small Flag Cyprus

There are no restrictions or any specific requirements whatsoever for establishing a multi-party or multi-contract arbitration agreement. Those cases will proceed with the arbitration as if the dispute concerns a two party agreement.

Czech Republic Small Flag Czech Republic

The Arbitration Act is silent on this matter. However, the rules of the Arbitration Court attached to the Economic Chamber of the Czech Republic and the Agricultural Chamber of the Czech Republic regulate the topic of intervention and multi-party arbitration.

Romania Small Flag Romania

While not expressly enshrined under the CPC, multi-party or multi-contract arbitration are not excluded under Romanian law and, in practice, disputes deriving from distinct contracts may be heard in the same proceedings.

Serbia Small Flag Serbia

Serbian Act on Arbitration has no provisions regulating either multi-party or multi-contract arbitrations.

However, Rules of Permanent Arbitration at the SCC and BAC Rules both contain a provision regarding joint appointment of an arbitrator in a multi-party dispute.

As for multi-contract arbitrations, both previously mentioned Serbian arbitral institutions in their rules on procedure encompass a clause regarding a possible joinder of claims and consolidation of the procedure in the interest of efficiency.

China Small Flag China

The Arbitration Law is silent on multi-party and multi-contract arbitration. However, some of China’s prominent arbitral institutions have provided rules on this subject. For example, Article 16 of the SCIA Arbitration Rules provide: Claims arising from more than one contract, a principal contract and its subordinate contract(s), or a contract and its related contract(s) between the same parties may be jointly made in a single arbitration, if it is agreed under all arbitration agreements of the multiple contracts to refer the disputes to arbitration by the SCIA and the relevant disputes arise from the same transaction or a series of transactions. Where an objection is raised by the Respondent, the decision shall be made by the SCIA or the arbitral tribunal authorized by the SCIA.

According to Article 29 of the CIETAC Rules, where there are multiple claimants and/or multiple respondents in any proceeding, the Claimant side and/or the Respondent side, following discussion, shall each jointly nominate or jointly entrust the Chairman of CIETAC to appoint one arbitrator, failure to do so would result in CIETAC appointing all three members of the tribunal and designating one of them as the presiding arbitrator. Article 22 of the Arbitration Rules of Shanghai Arbitration Commission provides that after the constitution of the arbitral tribunal, any request to join other parties to the arbitration will not be granted unless unanimously agreed by the parties and the party to be joined.

Denmark Small Flag Denmark

a. The Rules of Arbitration Procedure (DIA-Rules) adopted by the DIA allows for multi-contract arbitration and for third-parties to join cases already pending (provided that an arbitration agreement covering the third party exists).

Poland Small Flag Poland

There are no specific provisions of arbitration law and no published case law on this issue. However, it is accepted that multi-party arbitrations are allowed as long as equal treatment of the parties is assured, in particular with respect to appointment of arbitrators. For instance, the Rules of the Lewiatan Court of Arbitration provide for a special procedure for appointment of arbitrators by multiple parties.

Switzerland Small Flag Switzerland

In domestic arbitration, art. 376 para 2 CPC expressly 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. As regards the appointment of arbitrators in multi-party disputes, art. 362 para 2 CPC stipulates that the state court at the place of arbitration ("juge d'appui"), may nominate the entire arbitral tribunal, if seized by the parties after their failure to designate the arbitrators. The revised PILA is expected to also include such solution for international multi-party arbitration proceedings.

Apart from the above, Swiss law does not provide specific provisions on multi-contract arbitration. However, if an arbitration is for instance conducted under the Swiss Rules, separate arbitral proceedings 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.

UAE Small Flag UAE

There is no express guidance under the UAE Arbitration Law, DIFC Arbitration Law, DIAC Rules or DIFC-LCIA Arbitration Rules which addresses the issue of consolidating multi-contract arbitrations.

Where however there are multiple claims, submitted to arbitration under more than one contract, most arbitral institutions will consider applications for their consolidation of arbitral proceedings which are within their jurisdiction.

The ADGM Regulations (Regulation 35) provide for the consolidation of other arbitral proceedings or concurrent hearings.

United Kingdom Small Flag United Kingdom

The 1996 Act does not contain provisions for court-ordered consolidation. However, this matter can be addressed by either (a) the rules of arbitral institutions, which often provide a framework for consolidation or (b) the parties’ agreement (s.35 of the 1996 Act).

Saudi Arabia Small Flag Saudi Arabia

The KSA Law of Arbitration and its Implementing Regulations do not provide specific provisions addressing multiparty arbitration. However, multiparty arbitration is recognized under Article 11 of the Implementing Regulations. Specifically, Article 11 provides that "if there are multiple parties to the arbitration, the procedures shall start from the day on which the last party receives the arbitration request."

United States Small Flag United States

The FAA is silent with regard to multi-party and multi-contract arbitration. However, federal courts will generally enforce multi-party and multi-contract arbitration agreements as written. Courts will allow parties to “specify with whom they choose to arbitrate their disputes.” Stolt-Nielsen S. v. AnimalFeeds International Corp., 559 U.S. 662, 664 (2010).

Most arbitral institutions, including the ICDR, the CPR and JAMS, provide for the joinder of additional parties to an arbitration and/or the consolidation of multiple claims in an arbitration. The AAA and IACAC Rules do not provide explicit rules for joinder and consolidation but do not prohibit them.

Austria Small Flag Austria

There are no particular rules on multi-party or multi-contract arbitration in the Austrian Arbitration law.

Pursuant to Article 14 Vienna Rules 2018, the arbitral tribunal may decide on the joinder of third parties upon request of a party or the third party after hearing all parties and the third party. The joinder to an arbitration as additional party is only possible if the arbitral tribunal also has jurisdiction with regard to that third party. In deciding on the joinder, the arbitral tribunal will generally consider whether all parties have (implicitly) consented to joint proceedings.

Article 15 Vienna Rules 2018 provides that the Board of the VIAC, upon request by a party and after hearing the parties and the arbitrators already appointed, may consolidate two or more proceedings where the place of arbitration is the same and either the parties agree to the consolidation or the same arbitral tribunal was nominated.

Article 18 of the Vienna Rules 2018 sets out the applicable rule for the constitution of the arbitral tribunal in multi-party proceedings. If there is more than one party on the side of Claimant or Respondent, they shall generally jointly nominate an arbitrator.

Nigeria Small Flag Nigeria

The ACA is silent on multiparty arbitration agreements and there are no special considerations for conducting multiparty arbitrations. There is no provision precluding multiparty arbitration agreements in Nigeria. The parties have the autonomy to agree on how to organise and present their claims. A third party may apply, and with the consent of the parties, be allowed to participate in an ongoing arbitration. The parties to an arbitration can agree to confer on the arbitrator, in the event of multiplicity of claims, power to consolidate the claims or join other claims. This is especially so if the parties are of the view that the consolidation will finally resolve all the disputes.

Portugal Small Flag Portugal

Without prejudice to what may have been stipulated in the arbitration agreement for multi-party arbitrations, in case of multiple claimants or respondents, when they fail to agree on the appointment of an arbitrator, the State court may, upon request of any party, appoint all arbitrators “if it becomes clear that the parties that failed to jointly appoint an arbitrator have conflicting interests regarding the substance of the dispute” (art. 11 LAV).

Russia Small Flag Russia

Russian law does not specifically address either multi-party or multi-contract arbitration, although rules of the arbitral institutions typically govern some of the related issues, like the appointment of arbitrators or joinder.

Ireland Small Flag Ireland

Under the Arbitration Act, 2010, where the parties agree, arbitral proceedings shall be consolidated with other arbitral proceedings, including arbitral proceedings involving a different party or parties with the agreement of that party or parties and concurrent hearings shall be held on such terms as may be agreed between the parties.

Norway Small Flag Norway


Germany Small Flag Germany

The ZPO does not contain any specific provisions on multi-party or multicontract arbitration.

However, there seems to be wide-spread consensus in Germany that the French Cour de cassation's ruling in the Dutco case also reflects the German law position. This applies even more since the enactment of section 1034 (2) ZPO in 1998 according to which the courts may be called to appoint one or more arbitrators if the arbitration agreement gives preponderant rights to one side with regard to the constitution of the arbitral tribunal.

The new DIS 2018 Rules added provisions specifically dealing with multi-contract and multi-party arbitrations (Articles 17 to 20). The DIS Rules are, of course, no source of law, but can be agreed between the parties.

Article 20 of the DIS 2018 Rules specifically deals with three-member arbitral tribunals in multi-party arbitrations and calls for the appointment of one or both "party-appointed" arbitrators by the DIS-Appointing Committee if the multiple parties on one side cannot agree on a joint nomination.

Croatia Small Flag Croatia

In Croatia there are no specific rules regarding multi-party or multi-contract arbitration.

Chile Small Flag Chile

Chile has no specific legislation neither in domestic nor international arbitration regarding multi-party or multi-contract arbitration. Nevertheless, the principle or parties’ autonomy empowers them to include the same arbitration agreement in related contracts.

Philippines Small Flag Philippines

In the Philippines, international commercial arbitrations are principally governed by the Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration (“Model Law”).

Arbitration agreements are consensual contracts under Philippine laws. Thus, they take effect only between the parties to the agreement. However, a stranger to the contract may be bound by the arbitration agreement if the contract refers to a document containing an arbitral clause, and the reference makes the arbitration clause part of the contract.

Greece Small Flag Greece

The issues of multi-party or multi-contract arbitration are not regulated explicitly in the GrCCP or in L. 2735/1999. Despite the absence of specific provisions though, it is accepted that by virtue of a submission agreement i.e. an arbitration agreement concluded ex post as to existing disputes, claims arising under multiple contracts could be submitted to a single arbitral proceeding.

The situation is drastically different with regard to arbitration clauses concerning future disputes. This is because such clauses are deemed intrinsically linked to the given legal relationship under which these disputes are anticipated to arise. In domestic arbitration, said nexus is reflected to article 868 GrCCP which provides that legal relationship under which future disputes are anticipated to arise must be clearly stipulated in the arbitration clause as a prerequisite for its validity. But also with regard to international commercial arbitration, the intrinsic nexus between the arbitration clause concerning future disputes and a specific underlying legal relationship is deemed undeniable by case law and legal literature. In light of the above, claims arising under multiple contracts are claims arising under different legal relationships linked to different arbitration clauses. Hence, in the absence of a rule allowing for such a consolidation under Greek law, neither arbitral tribunals nor State Courts may impose it upon the parties. This holds true even if the several arbitration clauses are identical or at least compatible and even if the contracts and/or the disputes at hand are interrelated and/or pose essentially the same factual and legal questions. That being said, party autonomy may allow for such a consolidation of claims arising under different contracts in one single arbitration proceeding. Indeed, provided that the express consent of all parties involved is granted, multiple claims arising under multiple contracts, even signed by different parties, could be tried in a single arbitration. An obvious predicament would be the incompatibility of the various arbitration clauses. However, the agreeing parties may overcome this problem as well by amending the existing arbitration clauses (in all actuality such an arrangement could amount to a new submission agreement).

In the context of procedural autonomy, the parties may agree to the application of institutional rules under which the issues at hand are to be decided (see for example the relevant provisions of ICC Rules 2012).

The above hold true also with regard to the consolidation of multiple arbitration proceedings. Assuming that institutional rules providing for the opposite are not applicable, in the absence of specific provisions under Greek law, such a consolidation may not be imposed upon not willing parties. Party autonomy may nevertheless provide for such an arrangement.

Updated: May 3, 2019