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

International Arbitration (4th edition)

Argentina Small Flag Argentina

Art. 1659 of the NCCC provides that when the dispute concerns more than two parties and they fail to agree on the way in which the arbitral tribunal will be constituted, the institution administering the arbitration, or, in its absence, a judicial court, shall appoint the arbitrator or arbitrators.

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 as well as after considering all relevant circumstances. The joinder to an arbitration as additional party is only possible if the arbitral tribunal 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 on the side of Respondent, each side shall jointly nominate an arbitrator.

Bulgaria Small Flag Bulgaria

There is no explicit regulation for multi-party arbitration in Bulgaria. However, the Arbitration rules of the respective arbitral institutions (for example Art. 34 of the Arbitration rules of the AC at BCCI) provide that joinder is permitted only upon explicit consent of all parties.

United States Small Flag United States

The FAA does not discuss multi-party and multi-contract arbitration and does not provide for joinder or consolidation of multiple claims and parties. Because courts allow parties to “specify with whom they choose to arbitrate their disputes,” multi-party and multi-contract arbitration agreements are generally enforceable. Stolt-Nielsen S. v. AnimalFeeds Int’l Corp., 559 U.S. 662, 683 (2010). While the issue of whether the parties have a valid arbitration agreement is typically left to the courts, First Options of Chicago, Inc. v. Kaplan, 514 U.S. 938, 944–45 (1995), whether the agreement permits joinder or consolidation of parties is left to arbitral tribunals unless the parties specify otherwise in their agreement. Green Tree v. Bazzle, 539 U.S. 444, 452–53 (2003). Some institutional rules, which parties may incorporate into their agreements, provide for joinder or consolidation of related proceedings. For example, the JAMS International Rules state that “[w]here a request for arbitration is between parties already involved in other arbitral proceedings pending under these rules, JAMS may decide, after consulting with parties to all proceedings, and with the arbitrators, that the new case will be referred to the Tribunal already constituted for the existing proceedings.” JAMS Int’l Rules art. 7.1. The AAA/ICDR and the London Court of International Arbitration (“LCIA”) Rules provide for joinder of third parties and consolidation of arbitration proceedings, provided that any such third person and the applicant party have consented to such in writing. ACC/ICDR Rules arts. 7–8; LCIA Rules art. 22.1 (xiii–x).

Cyprus Small Flag Cyprus

Nothing except than to say they permitted. No statutory provisions constraining parties from entering into multi-party or multi-contract arbitration exist.

Czech Republic Small Flag Czech Republic

The law is silent regarding multi-party or multi-contract arbitration.

The permanent arbitration tribunals reflect this situation (e.g. with regards to the nomination of arbitrators).

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).

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.

India Small Flag India

Whether a multi-party dispute will be referred to arbitration will depend on the facts of the case and the nature of the relationship between the parties.

In P.R Shah, Shares and Stock Brokers Private Limited v. B.H.H Securities Private Limited and Others the question arose whether a single arbitration is permissible in respect of member and non-member under the bye-laws and regulations of the Bombay Stock Exchange.

Supreme Court, interestingly, held that if A had a claim against B and C and if A had an arbitration agreement with B and A also had a separate arbitration agreement with C, there is no reason why A cannot have a joint arbitration against B and C. The Supreme Court further observed that when A has a claim jointly against B and C, and when there are provisions for arbitration in respect of both B and C, there can be a single arbitration.

In M/s Duro Felguera SA v M/s Gangavaram Port Limited (GPL) (AIR 2017 SC 5070) the Supreme Court of India was called upon to decide whether, in a dispute involving multiple contracts between both foreign and domestic parties, a ‘composite reference’ could be made to the tribunal. The Supreme Court held that a composite reference would not be proper as both domestic and international arbitrations were involved. Accordingly, six separate tribunals were constituted to adjudicate the disputes involved.

Indonesia Small Flag Indonesia

The Arbitration Law does not contain specific provisions on multi-party or multi-contract arbitration. In contrast, Article 11 of the 2018 BANI rules provides that multiple parties acting as the claimant or respondent will be considered a single party for the purpose of appointing the arbitrators. If multiple parties acting as a single claimant or respondent fail to reach consensus by the agreed timeline on the arbitrator to be appointed, the Chairperson of BANI will make the selection on their behalf.

Liechtenstein Small Flag Liechtenstein

Liechtenstein law on arbitration does not expressly legislate for multi-party proceedings or multi-contract arbitration. The Liechtenstein Rules make reference to multi-party proceedings in Article 4.2 (initiation of arbitral proceedings), and Articles 9.3 and 9.4 (constitution of the arbitral tribunal).

Malaysia Small Flag Malaysia

Agreement of the parties to an arbitration agreement is required before a third party can be joined, given, inter alia, an arbitration agreement would be subject the doctrine of privity of contract. In this regard, the arbitral tribunal must be clearly and expressly conferred the power to allow a joinder of parties.

As a general guiding principle, Section 40(2) of the Arbitration Act provides that the tribunal has no power to order consolidation of arbitration proceedings or concurrent hearings unless the parties agree to confer the tribunal with such powers. In this regard, the High Court in Lingkaran Luar Butterworth (Penang) Sdn Bhd v Perunding Jurutera Dah Sdn Bhd & Ors [2005] 6 CLJ 334 held, inter alia, that ‘While the court has the power to consolidate actions, it is not the same with arbitration. Under the Act, unless the parties agree, the arbitrator himself cannot order consolidation or concurrent hearing. The parties must confer such power on the arbitral tribunal before it can order consolidation or concurrent hearings’.

Mexico Small Flag Mexico

No, the Commerce Code does not contain any particular specifications or restrictions regarding multi-party or multi-contract arbitration.

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. Section 40(3) of the Lagos Law provides that a person may, by application and with the consent of the parties, be joined to arbitral proceedings.

Norway Small Flag Norway

The Arbitration Act contains no consolidation clauses. Accordingly, the tribunal cannot consolidate separate arbitral proceedings without the parties' consent.

Although it is not expressly stated in the Arbitration Act, it is clear that multiparty agreements are recognised under Norwegian law (eg, in the preparatory works to the act).

Philippines Small Flag Philippines

There is no specific reference to multi-party or multi-contract arbitration in the ADR Act or the IRR. Nevertheless, the PDRCI specifically provides for (a) claims between multiple parties in a single arbitration, and (b) multiple contracts in a single arbitration. In the first case, there must be a prima facie determination that an arbitration agreement exists and that the same binds all the parties. In the second case, there must be a prima facie determination that the arbitration agreements under which the claims are made are compatible and that the claims can be determined jointly in a single arbitration.

Saudi Arabia Small Flag Saudi Arabia

There is nothing in particular to note vis-à-vis multi-party or multi-contract arbitration. The Arbitration Law aims at affording the parties great flexibility in agreeing as to the conduct of the arbitration. As long as the parties explicitly agree as to how the arbitration should be conducted (and the agreement does not violated Islamic law or public policy), the Law would honor the parties’ choices.

Singapore Small Flag Singapore

The SIAC Rules (2016) provide for applications for joinder prior to constitution of the tribunal in the case of multi-party arbitration in which the party to be joined is prima facie bound by the arbitration agreement or all parties have consented (Rule 7).
The SIAC Rules (2016) also provide for applications for consolidation in multi-contract situations (under Rules 6 and 8) where:

  1. (a) ‘all parties have agreed to the consolidation’;
  2. (b) ‘all the claims in the arbitrations are made under the same arbitration agreement’; or
  3. (c) ‘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’.

There are also provisions for the joint appointment of one arbitrator by claimant(s) and one arbitrator by respondent(s) in multi-party arbitrations under the SIAC Rules (Rule 12) and the PCA Rules (Art. 10(1)).

Similarly, the ICC Rules of Arbitration provide processes for (a) joinder of additional parties under Art. 7 (subject to the consent of the parties); and (b) claims arising out of or in connection with more than one contract to be made in a single arbitration, subject to certain requirements under Art. 6 (Effect of the Arbitration Agreement) and Art. 23(4) (limitations on new claims outside the limits of the Terms of Reference).

South Korea Small Flag South Korea

The KCAB International Arbitration Rules (the “Rules”) provide for joinder of additional parties where (i) all parties including the additional party have all agreed in writing to the joinder; or (ii) the additional party is also a party to the arbitration agreement and the additional party has agreed in writing to the joinder (Article 21 of the Rules). The Rules also provide for submission of claims arising out of multiple contracts within a single request for arbitration where (i) all of the contracts provide for arbitration under the Rules; (ii) the multiple arbitration agreements are not incompatible; and (iii) the claims arise out of the same transaction or series of transactions (Article 22 of the Rules). A KCAB arbitral tribunal may consolidate claims made in a separate pending arbitral proceeding if that proceeding is conducted under the Rules between the same parties (Article 23).

France Small Flag France

Multi-contract arbitration:

French law does not preclude the parties from bringing claims arising out of more than one contract in one arbitral proceeding.

FCCP Article 1442 defines an arbitration clause as “an agreement by which the parties to one or more contracts undertake to submit to arbitration any disputes that may arise in relation to that or those contracts.” This provision clearly permits multi-contract arbitration on the condition that the parties have so agreed. However, this provision only applies to domestic arbitration.

Multi-party arbitration:

Multi-party proceedings have received particular attention under French law following the famous Dutco case (Dutco v BKMI and Siemens, French Court of Cassation, First Civil Chamber, 7 January 1992, No. 89-18.708). In that case, the French Supreme 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 an arbitrator jointly if the claimant has had the opportunity, alone, to designate an arbitrator. As a result of this decision, FCCP Article 1453 following the 2011 Decree 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 judge acting in support of the arbitration (the juge d’appui) shall appoint the arbitrator(s). This article specifically applies to international arbitration but not to domestic arbitrations.

Egypt Small Flag Egypt

There are no specific rules regarding that matter under the EAL. However, the applicable institutional rules may include pertinent provisions. Absent such regulation under institutional rules, if any are applicable, it is preferable that a multiparty arbitration agreement explicitly states whether several parties shall jointly appoint one or more arbitrators. In this regard, the arbitration clause must be clearly drafted in order to determine the role of the parties in the choice of arbitrators.

Ecuador Small Flag Ecuador

No, the LAM does not have any specific provision on this matter. However, we must mention that not because of this, multi-party or multi-contract arbitrations are impossible or forbidden, rather they would be treated according to the general rules of supplementary application.

Chile Small Flag Chile

No.

Canada Small Flag Canada

Most domestic arbitration statutes provide that both the courts and the parties can consolidate multi-party and multi-contract arbitrations with the consent of all the parties. See, for example, ss. 8(4) and 8(6) of the Alberta Arbitration Act and ss. 8(4) and 8(6) of the Ontario Arbitration Act.

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.

Taiwan Small Flag Taiwan

While Article 9 of the AL as well as the arbitration rules for all of the four aforementioned arbitration institutions in Taiwan contain some rules involving multi-party arbitration, such as in the event there are more than two parties in a dispute where the parties do not have an agreement on arbitrator selection, the arbitrator(s) shall be chosen by a majority vote among the parties, neither the AL nor the institutional rules have yet established detailed language regarding the exact procedure to follow in the case of multi-party arbitration.

With multi-party arbitration becoming a main trend in international commercial arbitration, and international bodies such as the ICC amending its rules in 2012 to include joinder of additional parties, claims between multiple parties, multiple contracts and consolidation of arbitrations, many Taiwan academics have called for the parties of multi-party contracts looking to agree on multi-party arbitration for dispute resolution to carefully consider how the arbitration agreement shall be drafted, or take careful note of how the rules of the intended arbitration institution have provided for multi-party mechanisms.

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.

Turkey Small Flag Turkey

Multi-party and/or multi-contract arbitrations are common between domestic and foreign parties. There is nothing particular to note.

Updated: November 6, 2019