Arbitration is a popular mechanism for resolving international disputes involving private companies as well as States or State entities. The choice of Paris as the seat of your arbitration and the venue for your hearing will guarantee you numerous benefits.
Les 6 bonnes raisons
The choice of freedom
France has chosen to limit the legal consequences of the choice of seat to the bare minimum. Arbitrations based in France are not subject to the French legal system. Unlike countries such as Switzerland and the United Kingdom, France has opted for a delocalized approach to the seat. The choice of Paris as the seat of arbitration means opting for an international award that will be completely detached from any national legal system.
To choose Paris is to choose freedom. An arbitration with Paris as its seat does not necessarily have to physically take place in the city, as the connection is merely legal, not geographical. Moreover, it also equates freedom to choose the lex arbitri.
The choice of Paris has two practical implications: jurisdiction of the French supporting judge in the course of the proceedings and jurisdiction of French courts to review the award. In both cases, France’s pro-arbitration stance will result in efficient proceedings that comply with due process principles.
The choice of experienced courts adapted to your needs
Paris courts are comprised of highly qualified and experienced legal practitioners.
Since 2018, annulment proceedings of international awards have been handled by the International Commercial Chamber of the Court of Appeal of Paris. Judges in this Chamber specialize in international disputes and are therefore familiar with issues associated with these types of disputes: in 2022, 60% of disputes handled by this Chamber concerned arbitral awards and the Chamber had been called upon by litigants from 73 countries. Further, the International Chamber’s procedural rules are tailored to the needs of the parties in the context of international arbitration. Parties can submit documents in English without any translation, thereby avoiding additional costs. Parties and all witnesses are also authorized to express themselves in English. A binding timetable is set for the proceedings and the parties are informed of the date on which the decision will be rendered, providing greater predictability as to the way the proceedings will proceed and the associated costs. Last but not least, the International Chamber is equipped with modern technological facilities, which have enabled it to adapt rapidly in times of pandemic by holding videoconference hearings with instant translation.
The choice of a modern and well-established arbitration law
France’s former arbitration law was reformed by a law adopted in January 2011. More than ten years after this law came into force, its provisions are now well known to practitioners and rooted in case law.
French courts guarantee an interpretation of the law favorable to arbitration. In the presence of an arbitration agreement, French courts refrain from issuing a ruling and leave it to the arbitrators to rule on their own jurisdiction. The supporting judge is, however, ready to intervene swiftly and effectively whenever necessary, to ensure the smooth running of the proceedings.
French law is also permissive in extending the arbitration agreement to non-signatory parties, thereby avoiding the multiplication of costly parallel proceedings related to the same set of facts.
An action for annulment of an award is only possible on a limited number of legal grounds and it does not allow the parties to debate anew the facts behind the dispute. It does not prevent the winning party from enforcing the award during the annulment proceedings. French annulment procedure guarantees compliance with the fundamental principles of fair trial and due process, without jeopardizing legal certainty since few awards are set aside. French courts apply rigorous standards in their fight against corruption and in upholding the impartiality and independence of arbitrators. In doing so, they ensure that awards rendered in France are credible and above suspicion.
The choice of competent practitioners
Dozens of law firms in Paris are specialized in arbitration. Parisian lawyers who practice in this field are usually specifically trained in arbitration, both in France and abroad. The teams are international, with lawyers from various nationalities, multilingual, and both common-law and civil-law trained. These diverse profiles enable Paris-based law firms to handle cases involving French-speaking and English-speaking countries with ease, as well as countries where other languages are spoken, regardless of whether the applicable law is French-inspired or not. Parisian law firms have a recognized expertise in a wide range of industries and know how to adapt to technical issues. Last but not least, the diversity of structures, from international law firms to local boutiques, allows all clients to find solutions tailored to their needs.
The Paris marketplace also has a growing number of experts (quantum, timeframe, etc.) who are well-versed in arbitration procedures.
The choice of competitive costs
The cost of arbitration proceedings in Paris is lower than in most major arbitration centers. Your service providers and advisors will offer you competitive rates. Moreover, in the event that recourse to the supporting judge or annulment judge becomes necessary during the course of the arbitration proceedings or subsequently, the cost of proceedings before French courts is also lower than before many other State jurisdictions.
The choice of efficient logistics
The choice of Paris to organize your hearing also guarantees logistical efficiency. Paris is easily accessible from every continent, with two international airports easily reachable from the city center. The French capital also offers a wide choice of accommodations, with some 75,000 rooms in 2,000 hotels to suit all budgets. Paris also has suitable venues for holding hearings.