The International Commercial Arbitration Court (ICAC) at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation as an arbitration center in Russia.
The ICAC at the CCI is one of the most popular independent arbitration institutions in the Russian Federation. This instance of international arbitration is the oldest in the Russian Federation
The ICAC at the CCI considers disputes on the basis of the rules of international arbitration approved by the UN. However, the proceedings in the ICAC at the CCI differ from the proceedings in other international arbitration courts. The ICAC at the CCI is the successor to the Foreign Trade Arbitration Commission and the Arbitration Court for the Resolution of Economic Disputes at the CCI. In this regard, he has the competence to deal with the relevant disputes.
There are four permanent arbitration institutions in the Russian Federation. According to the law, only they can administer an international arbitrator. Among these four arbitration centers is the ICAC at the CCI, the main branch of which is located in Moscow. The ICAC is under the legal jurisdiction of the Russian Federation. This fact is important in establishing the legal regime of arbitration and recognition, the execution of the arbitral award. More specifically, the provision on jurisdiction is governed by paragraph 22 of the ICAC Rules at the CCI. Therefore, to participate in the proceedings in the ICAC, one must have an idea of the legal system of Russia.
There are several committees that are competent to deal with certain disputes.
The competence of the ICAC at the CCI extends to disputes arising from civil relations. The ICAC at the CCI has the right to consider the following disputes:
- Disputes over foreign trade and other international economic relations. As practice shows, disputes in this category are the most numerous in the ICAC;
- Disputes under contracts with a foreign contractor;
- Disputes that, if they arise, are subject to consideration in the ICAC at the CCI;
The competence of the ICAC is established by federal laws and internal rules of the international commercial court.
In accordance with the international treaty of Russia, the arbitration rules, approved in 1976 by the UN Commission on International Trade Law, are of fundamental importance in the settlement of international arbitration. UNCITRAL develops a regulatory framework for international arbitration, approves conventions and model rules for arbitration centers. These rules apply to all international arbitration bodies. Thus, UNCITRAL acts as a legal mechanism for managing arbitration centers, and its acts are the basis for national arbitration rules.
There are two federal laws in the Russian Federation, the legal norms of which are aimed at regulating the International Commercial Arbitration Court at the CCI:
- Law of the Russian Federation No. 5338-1 “On International Commercial Arbitration”. This law directly regulates international arbitration if the arbitration takes place on the territory of Russia. This act determines the procedure for the execution of the arbitration agreement, the formation of the arbitral tribunal, the proceedings and the procedure for challenging the decisions of the arbitration. The law reflects UNCITRAL’s model rules for arbitration;
- Federal Law No. 382-FZ “On Arbitration”. The norms of this law apply not only to national domestic arbitration, but also to international one. This federal law regulates the procedure for the creation and operation of permanent arbitration institutions, including international arbitration institutions, if arbitration is carried out on the territory of Russia.
The ICAC at the CCI has its own internal rules that regulate the procedure for considering a dispute in the ICAC, the appointment of arbitrators, establishes the procedure for calculating the arbitration fee, rates for the fee for arbitrators, as well as other internal issues of the ICAC organization. The regulations were approved by the Order of the RF CCI dated October 18, 2005. Changes to it were introduced in 2010 and 2013, which emphasizes the stability of the ICAC regulatory framework.
To successfully participate in the consideration of a dispute in the ICAC, the representative of the interests of a party to the dispute must be well versed in the regulatory and legal framework on the basis of which the ICAC at the CCI functions. The lawyer must be familiar with the Russian legal reality. As noted above, the ICAC at the CCI differs in some peculiarities. A lawyer for arbitration must take into account these nuances of the ICAC at the CCI, have an idea of this instance, and also have experience of participating in proceedings in the ICAC at the CCI.
In addition to organizing internal issues of the ICAC functioning, the internal regulations establish the following mandatory conditions for the consideration of disputes in the ICAC:
- It is possible to consider a dispute in the ICAC if there is a written arbitration agreement between the parties to the dispute. A mandatory written form of an arbitration agreement is provided for by the rules due to the need to comply with the requirements of article 7 of the law on international arbitration, which contains methods for concluding such an agreement;
- The ICAC shall consider disputes if its jurisdiction over these disputes is established by an international agreement;
- The Arbitral Tribunal is empowered to resolve issues of competence in dispute resolution. If there are difficulties in determining the competence of the dispute, the arbitrators establish it, taking into account the terms of the contract.
The ICAC at the CCI is also distinguished by the professionalism of its arbitrators. Arbitrators are the best specialists in various fields of economics and jurisprudence. Professionalism is also required from the representatives of the parties in arbitration. These should be lawyers with many years of experience in arbitration. Thus, it will be easier for the arbitral tribunal to understand the legal position of a party to the dispute if it is voiced by an experienced lawyer in a professional language that is understandable for professional arbitrators.
This article will discuss in detail the issues of arbitration in the ICAC at the CCI. In addition, the advantages of our law firm, which provides services for representing the interests of Russian and foreign clients in the ICAC at the RF CCI, will be presented.
Advantages of the ICAC at the CCI.
The ICAC at the CCI has specific features compared to national courts of different jurisdictions and other instances of international arbitration institutions. Proceedings in the ICAC differ significantly from similar proceedings in national courts and international arbitration centers on the following grounds:
- If the plaintiff goes to the national court of the country in which the defendant is located, problems may arise during the proceedings. For example, a national court judge may not have experience in international litigation or lack the necessary skills. In addition, in a state court of another state, the parties will have to refer to the legal norms of an unfamiliar jurisdiction. The main problem is that the decision of the state court can not be enforced in every country.
On the basis of the 1958 UN Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, decisions on a dispute in the ICAC at the RF CCI are binding in the countries participating in this convention. This ensures the effectiveness of the ICAC at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry as a world arbitrator, because the decision of international arbitration in the countries-participants of the above-mentioned convention is carried out in a simplified manner, without reviewing the case on the merits;
- State accredited lawyers may represent the interests of the parties in national courts. In international arbitration, including the ICAC at the CCI, there is the principle of freedom of legal representatives. In other words, you can entrust your chosen lawyer to represent your interests. The representative must have knowledge and experience in international arbitration, and not only know the law that will be applied when considering disputes in the ICAC. Our law firm has been representing the interests of Russian and foreign clients in the ICAC at the CCI for more than a dozen years. The guarantees of our company will be described in detail below;
- Compared to other international arbitration institutions, the ICAC at the CCI differs significantly in the lowest registration and arbitration fees. A claim in the ICAC at the CCI is subject to a registration fee of $ 1000, and a claim to the LCIA is subject to a registration fee of $ 3000. The difference in the fees charged by the ICAC at the CCI and the LCIA is significant, which makes the Russian arbitration attractive for small and medium-sized businesses.
- Consideration of disputes in the ICAC does not require hourly wages for the arbitrators. Lack of hourly pay prevents deliberate delays in the process. Procrastination of the process takes place if one of the parties wishes to force the counterparty to incur additional financial losses for arbitration costs. In particular, the costs associated with protecting their interests through legal representatives.
The arbitration costs are borne by the losing party for the most part at a reasonable amount. Thus, the winning party can recover a significant portion of the arbitration costs incurred. Thus, the ICAC at the CCI differs significantly from state arbitration due to the costs of arbitration fees and payment of the functioning of the arbitration. Nevertheless, the ICAC at the CCI compensates for these costs with promptness, competence and confidentiality when resolving disputes;
- Consideration of disputes in the ICAC is limited in time. The rules of the ICAC at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry establish that the proceedings cannot last longer than 180 days. Compared to other arbitration centers, this time limit value is the same. The time limit will not allow the process to drag on. The decision of the ICAC is final;
- The ICAC at the CCI provides reliable conditions for ensuring the confidentiality of proceedings in the ICAC. Paragraph 25 of the ICAC Rules stipulates that arbitrators, experts, staff of the ICAC and the CCI are obliged not to disclose information that has become known to them in the process of considering disputes in the ICAC. However, the parties are given some opportunity to use the results of the dispute. In addition, the parties may conclude an additional agreement on the confidentiality of the dispute or any specific information about the dispute;
- Unlike state arbitration, in the proceedings in the ICAC, the facts are more taken into account, rather than the legal side of the dispute. A representative of interests in arbitration must have the skills to present and argue for certain facts. In international arbitration, including in court at the ICAC, the field of possible evidence is much wider than in state arbitration.
In connection with the economic sanctions imposed, Russian companies are forced to abandon traditional European arbitration centers, and now they turn to arbitration centers in Asia, including the Russian ICAC at the CCI. This fact determines the popularity of the ICAC at the CCI for considering disputes with Russian companies in international arbitration.
The procedure for consideration of disputes in the ICAC at the CCI.
The procedure for conducting proceedings in the ICAC is regulated by the ICAC Rules and federal laws, however, the parties are given greater freedom of action when considering a dispute in the ICAC. If the regulatory enactments or agreement of the parties do not regulate any issue of the proceedings, then the ICAC at the CCI has the right to resolve it at its discretion, but in accordance with the principles of international arbitration.
The need to consider a dispute in international arbitration arises in the event that a foreign counterparty is present. As a rule, either a foreign company wants to file a claim with the ICAC against a Russian company, or the Russian company has already filed a claim with the ICAC against a foreign company. But in any case, there is a need for a legal representative for both parties, be it the plaintiff or the defendant. The representative will help to more effectively express the legal position of the party, which may affect the course of the proceedings itself.
Another prerequisite is the presence of the so-called arbitration clause in the terms of the concluded agreement. It is worth taking into account that arbitration centers recommend using the arbitration clauses indicated on their official websites. For example, the ICAC at the CCI recommends using the following text of the arbitration clause:
«Any dispute, controversy or claim which may arise out of or in connection with the present contract (agreement), or the execution, breach, termination or invalidity thereof, shall be settled by the International Commercial Arbitration Court at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation in accordance with its Rules».
Otherwise, the ICAC may decide that it lacks the competence to consider the dispute that has arisen. Therefore, the arbitration clause must unambiguously transfer competence to the consideration of an arisen or possible dispute directly to the ICAC.
If a dispute has arisen with a Russian company, and there is no arbitration clause in the agreement, then the parties can draw up an additional agreement on the transfer of the arisen dispute to international arbitration. Our law firm is ready to draw up such an additional agreement.
The arbitration clause may provide for the following conditions, subject to which the proceedings in the ICAC will take place:
- Place of Arbitration. Usually the court in the ICAC sits in the city of Moscow, however, by agreement, the parties can determine another place for considering the dispute. The ICAC at the CCI has 16 branches throughout Russia. But it is worth considering that when changing the place of consideration of the dispute, the parties are charged additional arbitration costs;
- Applicable law to the dispute. The parties have the right to choose the legal system of the country whose law they consider most applicable to the dispute that has arisen. If the parties have not agreed on the applicable law, the court in the ICAC will determine it independently;
- Language of the proceedings. Usually, the consideration of disputes in the ICAC takes place in Russian, but the parties, by mutual agreement, can establish any other language for the proceedings;
- Number of arbitrators. In the ICAC, the parties have the opportunity to take part in the formation of the arbitral tribunal. Each party can choose the most suitable arbitrator, whose professional reputation will help to properly resolve the existing dispute. The two arbitrators selected by the parties choose the third – the chairman of the arbitration. The ICAC Rules provide for the right to challenge an arbitrator if there are grounds to believe that the arbitrator is not impartial.
Consideration of disputes in the ICAC begins with the filing of a statement of claim. The statement of claim is drawn up in the form and must contain the necessary information. It must be indicated in the claim to the ICAC. The internal regulations of the ICAC established that if the secretary discovers an error in the statement of claim, then the plaintiff will be given time to eliminate errors in the claim.
The claim must contain the following information:
- names, postal addresses, telephone and fax numbers, and e-mail addresses of the parties;
- demands of the claimant;
- substantiation of the jurisdiction of the ICAC;
- a statement of the factual circumstances supporting the claim;
- evidence confirming such circumstances;
- substantiation of the claims with reference to applicable law;
- amount of the claim;
- calculation of the amount of each demand; and
- a list of documents attached to the statement of claim.
The claim in the ICAC at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry is the beginning of the proceedings in the ICAC. A properly executed claim in the ICAC at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry will be accepted by the court for proceedings, therefore, its drafting must be entrusted to a professional – an arbitration lawyer. A correctly drawn up statement of claim to the court at the ICAC will save you from the need to correct it in the future. The lawyers of our company are competent specialists in the field of international arbitration. They can draw up a statement of claim to the ICAC, and a response to such a statement of claim, and a counterclaim.
To start considering a dispute in the ICAC at the RF CCI, you need to pay a large amount for the registration fee, which is part of the arbitration fee. This fee is $ 1,000. The table on which the amount of arbitration fees is calculated depending on the price of the claim.
The secretary of the ICAC notifies the defendant of the claim to the ICAC, proposes to draw up a response to the statement of claim. A response, like a claim in the ICAC, must contain the same necessary information about the parties to the dispute and other circumstances of the case. The requirements for withdrawal of the statement of claim are contained in the ICAC regulations.
Then the parties choose the composition of the arbitration. The specific provisions on the composition of the arbitral tribunal must be set out by the parties in their agreement. If no agreement has been reached on the composition of the arbitral tribunal, the final decision is made by the ICAC Presidium. The court in the ICAC usually considers the case in the composition of three arbitrators, however, the Presidium of the ICAC, taking into account the circumstances of the case, may entrust the consideration of the dispute to a sole arbitrator. An arbitrator must be selected taking into account the specifics of the dispute that has arisen. It is advisable that the arbitrator has professional experience in the field in which the dispute has arisen.
In the process of considering a dispute in the ICAC, the parties can use the services of representatives with any citizenship from any state. For effective representation of interests, the representative must have the skills to participate in the proceedings in the ICAC at the CCI, to be guided by the Russian legal reality. Of course, the best and most optimal solution would be to entrust a Russian lawyer to represent interests in Russian arbitration.
The parties have the right to agree on the proceedings only on the basis of written materials, without holding an oral hearing. In this case, the need for the personal presence of a representative will disappear, which will reduce secondary costs. Thus, when considering disputes in the ICAC, one can do without full-time presence. However, if you wish to hold oral hearings, you can choose one of the 16 branches of the ICAC at the CCI in Russia.
After considering the dispute in the ICAC, a decision is made. The decision is taken by a majority vote of the arbitral tribunal. The ICAC decision is final and binding from the date of its issuance. The decision of the ICAC is executed by the parties voluntarily within the time period specified in the decision. If the deadline for execution is not specified in the decision, it is subject to immediate execution. For the execution of the decision, interim measures may be imposed in accordance with federal law. Our law firm provides services for the imposition of interim measures on decisions of the ICAC at the CCI in any jurisdiction.
Benefits and guarantees of our law firm for representing interests in arbitration.
A legal representative in arbitration plays a decisive role not only in the consideration of disputes in the ICAC at the CCI, but also in all international arbitration. Our law firm provides services for representing interests in international commercial arbitration, including in the ICAC at the CCI. We represent interests in both cases – if it is necessary to file a claim with the ICAC against a Russian company or if it is necessary to respond to a claim from a Russian company.
When representing clients, our lawyers in international arbitration are guided by a deep knowledge of international conventions and other regulations on international arbitration, federal laws of the Russian Federation and the internal regulations of the ICAC at the CCI. Arbitration lawyers are ready to participate in proceedings before the ICAC in any language and with any applicable law.
Our company has the advantage of providing legal representation in arbitration. Among the main advantages are the following:
- Our law firm primarily operates in the Russian Federation. This means that the lawyers of our company are well versed in the Russian legal reality and are aware of the law enforcement aspects in international arbitration, in particular, in the ICAC at the CCI. Lawyers in Russia are well aware of the standards for arbitration disputes with Russian companies;
- We also work according to Western standards. Our lawyers have vast collective experience in participating in international arbitration not only in Russia, but also in European countries. In particular, our company on an ongoing basis provides services for representing interests in the London International Arbitration Court and in the Stockholm Arbitration, other leading arbitration centers in Europe;
- Taking into account the fact that our law firm often provides services for representation in the ICAC at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, our lawyers have a professional opinion about the majority of arbitrators. Our lawyers will help with the selection of those arbitrators whose participation in the consideration of disputes in the ICAC would be the best option for the proceedings;
- As mentioned above, much in the proceedings depends on the terms of the arbitration clause – on the language of the proceedings, the applicable law, the number of arbitrators. Our law firm is ready to provide services for representation in arbitration regardless of the language of the proceedings and other conditions of the arbitration clause. In addition, our lawyers can correspond with the client in different languages, as it is convenient for the client;
- A distinctive feature is the remote service delivery format. The entire procedure from the execution of an agreement with our company and including direct consideration of the dispute in the ICAC at the CCI can be carried out remotely. It was stated above that it is not necessary to hold oral hearings in the ICAC, the court may consider the case on the basis of the available case materials and written documents;
- If the client needs oral hearings, then our lawyers will be present at any of the 16 ICAC branches throughout the Russian Federation. A significant advantage of international arbitration is the possibility of holding meetings online, without the personal participation of the applicant. In addition, electronic document management is possible. The proceedings can be carried out remotely, without traveling to other states;
- Our law firm has extensive experience in representing ICAC litigation in various industries – international commercial disputes, corporate disputes, sports disputes. Our lawyers deal with disputes over energy, investment, insurance, shipping, intellectual property;
- Our arbitration attorneys have business links with centers of excellence providing expert services for international commercial arbitration. If necessary, our lawyers will involve an expert in the proceedings who can influence the outcome of the dispute.
The work of our law firm is organized as follows:
- A client, a foreign law firm, asks us to arrange legal support for filing a claim against a Russian company with the ICAC at the CCI or respond to a claim filed by a Russian company. In both cases, we are able to provide legal representation services;
- The client in the letter describes in detail the situation about a possible or already arisen dispute. Once again, we note that our lawyers are able to conduct correspondence in the client’s language. Our lawyers analyze the situation and send the client an advisory opinion with an assessment of possible risks and a description of further prospects when considering a dispute in the ICAC;
- If the client is a plaintiff, then our lawyers will prepare a claim to the ICAC. If the claims are satisfied, then we are ready to execute the decision in the ICAC on the territory of Russia, and we can also impose interim measures on the defendant in the process;
- Our feature of legal representation is that we will coordinate any action with the client. After the conclusion of the contract with the client, we will report on each stage of the dispute resolution. We send each document for approval to the client, offer different options for action, indicate the perspective in a particular case, calculate legal and economic risks.
Thus, our lawyers within the framework of legal representation in arbitration are ready to:
- If necessary, we are ready to draw up documents to reach a pre-trial agreement on the resolution of the dispute. Some agreements on referral of disputes to arbitration may provide for a pre-trial settlement of the dispute that has arisen;
- Collect and prepare all the documents that are necessary to start considering a dispute in the ICAC. Also, lawyers will prepare the necessary documents already during the proceedings;
- Prepare arguments to substantiate the legal position of the client, collect evidence and evidence for the benefit of the client;
- To impose interim measures in the proceedings in the ICAC at the CCI;
- Execute the decision of the ICAC in Russia if it is in the client’s favor.
In this article, we examined the institution of an international commercial arbitration court. The basis of the normative legal regulation of the ICAC at the CCI was also considered. Described in detail the advantages of the ICAC at the CCI over the arbitration courts of states and over other international arbitration centers.
An optimal outcome is unlikely to be achieved without a legal representative in arbitration. These advantages of our law firm have helped many clients from different countries to achieve the desired solution in the ICAC at the CCI. Our lawyers have been representing clients in international arbitration centers for several decades. They have vast experience in arbitration, so they can represent the interests of their clients in a quality manner.
Our law firm works with clients from any country. Our lawyers will be able to conduct correspondence in any language, as it is convenient for the client. In addition, our law firm can enforce the decision of the ICAC at the CCI in any jurisdiction.