Arbitration in SpainUpdated on Monday 18th April 2016
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Foreign entrepreneurs who have legal problems with their business partners in Spain or other foreign companies with offices in this country may solve them through arbitration procedures instead of going in court for a litigation. Those who are interested in arbitration should know a few details about this procedure that is regulated by the Arbitration Act no. 60/2003 that was amended by the Acts no. 5/2011 and no. 11/2011. Both local and international arbitrations are regulated by these laws and there are also the provisions of the international treaties signed by Spain that complete the Spanish rules.
The UNCITRAL Model Law is used for the Arbitration Act that came into force in 2004. The arbitration has been used to a greater extent in the last few years due to the international companies that have chosen this method instead of litigation. According to the Arbitration Act, the parties are free to choose the number of arbitrators and the only condition is that the number should be uneven.
In Spain, more domestic companies prefer to go in court and more foreign firms decide to choose arbitration that is seen as more efficient and flexible. The parties that prefer arbitration trust this method because the arbitrators are considered to be better professionals and more specialized in this field than the judges. The arbitration is a faster method for closing a dispute, but one of the disadvantages is that a party that is not satisfied by the final decision doesn’t have the right to appeal. Another disadvantage could be the expenses that can be high in case of a complex and international case.
The institutions that handle the arbitration procedures in Spain
The Court of Arbitration of the Official Chamber of Commerce of Madrid is in charge with the domestic disputes that are handled also by the Civil and Commercial Court of Arbitration and the Barcelona Arbitral Tribunal. The international arbitrations take place at the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA).
An arbitration may generally last one to one and a half years according to its complexity, but in certain cases it may end after two or two and a half years.
If you need more details about the arbitration procedures in this country, you may contact our law firm in Spain.