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Globalisation has brought with it an increase in the number of international business disputes. The national court route is often not the best solution here because the parties prefer a neutral forum. Arbitration is the method of choice in such cases and offers a range of benefits, especially in international disputes. In addition to being flexible, conducted in private and less damaging to the business relationship, arbitration awards are also often easier to enforce than state court judgements.

CMS Germany is a leading law firm in the field of arbitration. The specialist lawyers in our team can look back on many years' involvement in national and international arbitration proceedings. They know the market and the conventions, and are familiar with the rules of all the main arbitration institutions (ICC, LCIA, DIS, SCC, Swiss Rules, Vienna Rules, UNCITRAL, ICSID, CIETAC, JCAA, etc.).

Depending on requirements and the legal issues, we form individual teams comprising experienced arbitrators and specialists from the relevant areas of law. In international arbitration proceedings we work closely with our colleagues from partner firms in the international CMS organisation, enabling us to offer cross-border advice from a single source.

CMS joined Arbitration Chambers Hong Kong as the German tenant. The Arbitration Chambers bring together experts in international arbitration from the main jurisdictions, covering the world’s leading economies. Arbitration Chambers Hong Kong is the first project of its kind in China.

Main focus

Helping to design effective arbitration agreements
Arbitration agreements enable parties to lay down the ground rules of the proceedings according to their requirements. This makes it necessary to establish the parties’ needs and interests and to draft the arbitration clauses accordingly. We carefully analyse the interests of the parties and all the unique features of the project, enabling us to develop suitable conflict-solving mechanisms. This in turn allows us to formulate precise arbitration clauses that meet the parties’ requirements, and to help our clients choose the appropriate arbitration rules.

Strategic analysis to manage overall conflict risk
Ideally, we advise our clients before a dispute arises in order to avert potential conflicts or be able to respond proactively if a dispute seems inevitable. We prepare opinions on potential liability risks and obligations, develop strategies for dispute avoidance and settlement, and help companies to assess and manage their risk potential.

Project-based advice in the event of a dispute
Should a dispute occur, we work with our clients to develop offensive or defensive strategies, assume responsibility for risk management, and handle all correspondence and documentation with reference to the rules of evidence of the agreed arbitration proceedings.

Representation in arbitration proceedings
When the need arises, we represent our clients in every phase of the proceedings. Our activities range from initiating proceedings to selecting the arbitrators, producing written submissions and submitting evidence through to representing parties and hearing witnesses in the proceedings. Our lawyers are also familiar with Anglo-American methods for determining the facts of the case (discovery) and taking evidence (cross-examination), which differ from German practice.

Acting as arbitrators
In addition to representing clients in arbitration proceedings, our lawyers frequently act as arbitrators. They are either appointed by the parties, or they act as the presiding arbitrator jointly appointed by the other arbitrators or by the relevant arbitration institution.

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