What ethical codes and other professional standards, if any, apply to counsel and arbitrators conducting proceedings in your country?

International Arbitration

Austria Small Flag Austria

Absent an agreement between the parties, international lawyers acting as counsel in Austrian arbitrations are not subject to any particular codes of conduct. Austrian attorneys, however, are bound by the ethical codes of the Austrian bar association regardless of their function in an international arbitration and the respective place of arbitration. European attorneys acting as counsel in Austria must adhere to the CCBE code of conduct and, if applicable, to their own professional standards..

France Small Flag France

Apart from a resolution that was adopted by the Paris Bar on 26 February 2008 allowing counsel to prepare witnesses before oral examination in international arbitration, French law does not provide specific ethical codes or standards that apply to counsel and arbitrators. Accordingly, counsel and arbitrators should respect the general ethical codes and other professional standards as provided by the French Bar or by the ethical codes and professional standards as provided in their local bars or jurisdictions.

Portugal Small Flag Portugal

Since 2014 there is a Code of Conduct for the Arbitrator, approved by the Portuguese Arbitration Association (APA). Furthermore, some arbitration centres have their own codes of conduct (vg, the Commercial Arbitration Centre).

Romania Small Flag Romania

Counsel are subject to the strict ethical obligations under Romanian law regulating lawyers’ practice, the statute of legal profession and by the Charter of Core Principles of the European Legal Profession and Code of Conduct for European Lawyers adopted by The Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe.

Regarding arbitrators, there is no specific body of law or rules regarding their ethical standard. However, both the Code of Civil Procedure and CICA rules of arbitration provide several obligations of the arbitrators during their office such as confidentiality, impartiality, observance of the applicable deadlines etc. Failure to observe some of these obligations might trigger the arbitrators’ liability, as detailed above. As well, in practice, the parties may agree that the IBA Rules of Ethics for International Arbitrators might apply.

Sweden Small Flag Sweden

Swedish counsels and arbitrators admitted to the Swedish Bar Association must observe the Bar Association’s Code of Conduct.

No specific ethical code on arbitrators exists. However, the Swedish Supreme Court has explicitly recognised the IBA Guidelines on the Conflict of Interest in International Arbitration.

The SCC Rules provide that the arbitrators must be and remain independent and impartial.

UAE Small Flag UAE

There are no particular ethical codes or standards that apply to arbitration proceedings in the UAE. The Federal Legal Profession Law is not tailored to foreign legal practitioners or to arbitral proceedings.

The DIFC Code of Best Legal Practice applies to legal consultants practising in the DIFC. In the ADGM, the Chief Justice of Abu Dhabi Global Market Courts has recently passed the ADGM Courts Rules of Conduct 2016, which entered into force on 30 May 2016. Neither apply specifically to arbitration proceedings.

Switzerland Small Flag Switzerland

In general, representatives and arbitrators in arbitral tribunals do not need to be lawyers or admitted to the bar. Parties may, however, only be represented by attorneys authorised by Swiss Law or a treaty in appeal proceedings before the Swiss Federal Tribunal.

According to Swiss law, lawyers are required to observe various professional rules such as duty of diligence, independence, avoidance of conflict of interest, and the attorney-client-privilege. Violation of these rules may result in disciplinary action by the cantonal supervisory authorities. In addition, the Swiss Bar Association stipulated various professional standards which should be observed by its members.

New Zealand Small Flag New Zealand

No arbitration-specific standards apply. New Zealand practitioners consider themselves bound by the relevant New Zealand professional standards when conducting arbitral proceedings. Under the AMINZ Arbitration Protocol, proposed arbitrators are required to have no interest in the matters in dispute and are required to disclose, prior to accepting the appointment, any dealings or acquaintance with any of the parties to the dispute and any knowledge of the dispute. It remains to be seen what impact the IBA Guidelines on Party Representation in International Arbitration will or may have.

Malaysia Small Flag Malaysia

As counsel or solicitor in a Malaysian arbitration, a lawyer is required to abide by the rules of ethics and etiquette issued by the Malaysian Bar Council. These rules do not apply to non-lawyers acting in the same capacity.

The principal ethical code to be followed by arbitrators in Malaysia is codified in section 14, AA which relates to the impartiality and independence of arbitrators.

United States Small Flag United States

See answer to Question 15.

All U.S. lawyers are bound by the ethical rules of the state in which they practice, including when representing clients in international arbitration. These rules of professional conduct cover topics such as conflicts of interest, confidentiality, communication with represented and non-represented parties, and conduct before a tribunal. The practices required by U.S. rules of professional conduct largely reflect the principles set forth in the IBA Guidelines on Party Representation in International Arbitration.

The rules of the major arbitral institutions, including the AAA’s Commercial Arbitration Rules, require party-appointed arbitrators to meet impartiality and independence standards unless the parties agree otherwise.

U.S. courts have held that the failure of an arbitrator to comply with generally recognized international codes of arbitrator conduct does not automatically require vacatur of an award rendered by that arbitrator. Courts nevertheless find such provisions useful guidance.

Singapore Small Flag Singapore

There are no specific ethical codes or standards that apply to arbitration proceedings in Singapore.

The Legal Profession (Professional Conduct) Rules set out the rules of professional conduct for every advocate and solicitor holding a valid practising certificate. It sets certain standards for legal professionals practising in Singapore, including that the legal professional will maintain the independence and integrity of the profession and that he or she will act in the best interest of his or her clients.

Arbitrators appointed by SIAC are required to abide by SIAC’s Code of Ethics for an Arbitrator. Among other things, this requires arbitrators to disclose any facts or circumstances that may give rise to doubts as to his or her impartiality and to keep all information acquired during the course of the proceedings confidential.

Brazil Small Flag Brazil

As there is no national or international general code of ethics that can impose on practitioners of arbitration rigorous and objective conducts in mutual dealings of the parties, lawyers and arbitrators, situations arise that leave doubts about the behavior to be adopted, especially by the arbitrator, who must maintain throughout the arbitration proceedings irrepressible impartiality. Thus, in Brazil, various associations, organizations and arbitration centers try to systematize some rules that can serve as a guide to the performance of the arbitrator before accepting the charge and throughout the arbitral proceedings.

Furthermore, whenever a counsel acts it is applied to him the rules contained in the Statute of the Bar Association of Brazil, in the Code of Ethics of the Statute of the Bar Association of Brazil and in the Articles of the Civil Procedure Code (which is applied secondarily to arbitration, when there is no provision on the subject in the Arbitration Law) that establish the duties of the parties, their attorneys and all those who participate in the lawsuit.

Canada Small Flag Canada

There are no codes specific to arbitrations. Ethical codes imposed by law societies (the bodies regulating the legal profession) in the provinces and territories apply to members (licensed lawyers) acting as counsel in arbitration. In international arbitrations conducted in Canada, institutions and tribunals may refer to the IBA Guidelines on Conflicts of Interest and the IBA Rules of Ethics.

Panama Small Flag Panama

The ethical codes that apply to arbitrators conducting proceedings in Panama are those of the arbitration institutions administering the proceedings. The two main arbitration institutions in Panama, CeCAP and CESCON, have enacted Codes of Ethics for arbitrators. The Panama Arbitration Law expressly provides that any person who has breached the ethical codes of any arbitration institution cannot be appointed as an arbitrator or continue acting in such capacity.

Moreover, the professional standards that apply to Panamanian lawyers acting in arbitration proceedings is the Code of Ethics of the Panamanian Bar Association.

Spain Small Flag Spain

The ethical code for Lawyers is applicable to any lawyer intervening, whether as counsel or arbitrator, in arbitration proceedings.

Turkey Small Flag Turkey

Legal Profession Act No. 1136 regulates the ethical standards the attorneys are subject to. These ethical standards are also applied for the attorneys during the dispute resolution through the arbitration.

Germany Small Flag Germany

German law does not provide for arbitration specific ethical codes or other professional standards to be applied in arbitration proceedings. German counsel and arbitrators are bound by the ethical rules of the German Federal Lawyers’ Act – irrespective of their actions in state court or arbitration proceedings. However, foreign counsel and arbitrators are not bound by the German Federal Lawyers’ Act but only by the codes and standards of their home jurisdiction.

We see arbitration institutions (e.g. most recently the DIS) developing ethical codes to apply to arbitrators and/or counsel.

Italy Small Flag Italy

Arbitrators must comply with the ethical duties of the professional association which they belong to (if any) and counsel and attorneys acting as arbitrators must comply with the Code of Ethics and Conduct of the Italian Bar Association.

United Kingdom Small Flag United Kingdom

An arbitrator must comply with the (a) principle of fairness and impartiality (section 33) and (b) if they are a member of CIArb, their code of ethics. Any counsel or arbitrator who is a lawyer must adhere to the code of ethics of his or her governing professional body. If a foreign lawyer acts as counsel in the UK he or she must additionally comply with any applicable local rules.

Ireland Small Flag Ireland

While ethical codes and professional standards exist among the legal professionals and arbitral institutions, there are no other express standards in place for arbitrators in Ireland.

Poland Small Flag Poland

Counsel and arbitrators are bound by the ethical rules or standards of their respective professions. The Court of Arbitration at the Polish Chamber of Commerce has established an Arbitrator’s Code of Ethics for arbitrators in proceedings at that institution. The Polish Arbitration Association has also adopted the Arbitrator’s Code of Ethics.

Cyprus Small Flag Cyprus

Both Cap. 4 and ICA Law provide that an arbitrator has to proceed with speed in relation to the arbitration proceedings and must be unbiased and act accordingly. In the event the counsels are lawyers, then they are bound by the Advocates’ Law, Cap. 2 and the Advocates’ Code of Conduct Regulations of 2002 which set out various rules of professional conduct and ethics.

Updated: October 17, 2017