Why the seat matters
A seat of arbitration must respond to the needs of the business community and the users of international arbitration. Therefore one should always choose:
- A seat that is a signatory of the 1958 New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards.
- A seat whose laws favour arbitration and whose courts actively support, rather than interfere with, the arbitral process.
- A seat that respects the parties’ intentions regarding their choice of procedure and applicable law.
- A seat that has the required professional and structural resources for a rapid, legally secure and efficient process.
By choosing the seat of the arbitration proceedings, you in fact choose the legal environment of your proceedings. A choice of Paris means French arbitration law will apply, offering a reassuring environment if problems arise. Judges in the jurisdiction of the seat may be called upon to intervene in the arbitration proceedings either at the stage of the constitution of the arbitral tribunal, or later to decide certain matters or to order interim and provisional measures. It is the law of the place of the seat that will determine what legal means are available to challenge the arbitral award. The Paris civil court (Tribunal de Grande Instance) includes a specialized judge who, in the rare event judicial intervention in support of arbitration is required, hears all applications relating to the appointment of arbitrators and the implementation of the arbitral proceedings, and who actively supports the arbitral process.
Often regarded as a last-minute formality, we advise you to pay the greatest possible attention to the drafting of your arbitration clauses, which should indicate the seat of the arbitration. Care in drafting the arbitration clause will save you time and minimise the danger of seeing your dispute settled by a local court that you did not intend to choose. It is important that your arbitration clause is drafted with guidance either from your usual counsel or from specialist legal advisers who will be able to advise on the most appropriate wording for the clause in light of the particular circumstances of your case. If you wish to choose Paris as the seat of your arbitration and to benefit from the advantages that the French capital can offer, you should include the following wording in your arbitration clause: “The place of arbitration shall be Paris, France.”Paris Arbitration Rules Model Clause:
“Any dispute arising out of or in connection with this agreement shall be settled by arbitration in accordance with the Paris Arbitration Rules.”
- London Court of International Arbitration – LCIA
- New York Convention
- International Chamber of Commerce – ICC
- Arbitration rules
- Award by consent
- International public policy
- Procedural law
- “Pathological clause”
- International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID)
Download useful information about French arbitration: french arbitration law, french arbitration rules, etc.Materials