Arbitration in Spain

Arbitration in Spain

Updated on Friday 18th August 2017

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arbitration_in_spain.jpgForeign 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 which 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 arbitration procedures are regulated by these laws and there are also the provisions of the international treaties signed by Spain which complete the Spanish rules. Our lawyers in Spain can provide you with legal support and advice in arbitration cases.

The use of arbitration in Spain


The UNCITRAL Model Law is used for the Arbitration Act which 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, numerous domestic companies prefer to go in court and more foreign firms decide to choose arbitration which 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 who 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.


Arbitration instead of public law in Spain

Arbitration in Spain is a suitable method in cases of non-contractual disputes, where the public law may be excluded. This is also a proper solution for minor disagreements like customer claims or domain names disputes. In such cases, the arbitrators can be named to discuss the problems and to propose varied solutions for them, instead of using the provisions of the public law.  For example, it is good to know that the arbitration in Spain can be used in cases of intellectual property unfair competition, or patents disputes of companies both local or foreign. Besides that, the Arbitration Law in Spain can let space for maneuverability where the parties implied can solve the issues. Our attorneys in Spain can provide you with arbitration services instead of litigation which might be expensive and time-consuming.

Cooperation between judges and arbitrators in Spain

The same Arbitration Law in Spain agrees the collaboration between a judge and an arbitrator, where precautionary measures can be proposed for several types of disputes. In case an arbitrator does not agree on a precautionary measure suggested by a magistrate, he/she can act in accordance with the Arbitration Law. We remind that the arbitration in Spain offers flexibility compared to the judicial system in the country. Complete details in this matter can be offered by our Spanish lawyers.

If you need more details about the arbitration procedures in this country, you may contact our law firm in Spain.