(Full article available at Publications).
I. General Aspects of Enforceability
English Worldwide Freezing Order (“WFO”) being called by Matthias Scherer and Simone Nadelhofer one of the “nuclear weapons” of commercial litigation and arbitration, is a preliminary injunction preventing a defendant from disposing of assets pending the resolution of the underlying substantive (arbitration or court) proceedings. Its issue in support of an arbitration proceeding significantly impacts further enforcement of an award. However, as WFOs are often sought without prior notice to the defendant, their recognition and enforcement may become problematic. Ukrainian courts only recently were addressed issues related to enforceability of WFOs.
Assignment of benefits of arbitral awards is a standard business practice worldwide, undertaken by companies involved in international trade and supported by credit insurers. However, this practice may face some obstacles in Ukraine considering contradictory and poorly developed court practice of granting leave for enforcement upon an application submitted by any person other than a person who was the party to arbitration. Courts are rather formalistic in deciding on that matter as Ukrainian laws do not directly envisage the possibility to an application for leave to enforce an international arbitration award to be submitted by any person other than a creditor (the meaning of this term is sometimes narrow, so that it is understood as a synonym to a party to arbitration). Actually, until recently there are not so many court cases, if any at all, in which the matter of assignment of benefits of arbitral award was clearly addressed.
SCC is one of the most frequently referred arbitration institutes among Ukrainian parties, after the International Commercial Arbitration Court (ICAC) at the Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (UCCI). This trend is consistent with the general East-West footprint in the SCC case load. In the last decade parties from Ukraine have appeared in 45 disputes before the SCC. 12 of these disputes have been administered by the SCC in the period 2011-2012.
Ukrainian local common courts rarely refuse to grant the leave for enforcement of arbitral award (about 10% of the requests in 2011 and 6% of the requests in 2012). This statistics was presented in the research paper “Ukraine. Arbitration-friendly jurisdiction: 2011-2012 statistical report”.
With this post we continue the Ukraine – arbitration-friendly jurisdiction set of comments. We already discussed how Ukrainian courts treat ad hoc arbitration and what is their perception of the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce. This time the arbitration under the Swiss Rules is in our focus.