The Litigation Committee of the International Bar Association has published a 50-nation compendium entitled Handbook on Multi-Tiered Dispute Resolution Clauses (1 October 2015). It was my pleasure to serve as the Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Handbook with Liam Kennedy of A&L Goodbody in Dublin and Simon Hart of RPC in London. I also co-authored the chapter on U.S. law and am proud to serve as an Officer and Secretary of the committee that published the Handbook.
Editors of the Handbook include Luming Chen of Jun He Law Offices in Shanghai, Anna Grischchenkova of KIAP in Moscow, Félix Montero of Pérez-Llorca in Madrid, and Hiroki Wakabayashi of Anderson Mori & Tomotsune in Tokyo.
As noted in the Forward to the Handbook:
Multi-tiered dispute resolution clauses call for contracting parties to engage in negotiation, mediation, or some other form or combination of alternative dispute resolution prior to commencing litigation or arbitration. Parties agree to such clauses for a variety of reasons, the most common of which is to facilitate resolution of routine disputes quickly and efficiently with a minimum of disruption to the parties’ relationship and the underlying transaction. Such clauses are especially useful in construction contracts and in other transactions where the parties need to work together over an extended period of time.
Although multi-tiered dispute resolution clauses can serve a useful purpose, that is not universally the case. For example, they can cause needless delay in time-sensitive situations or where negotiation or mediation is futile. It is not unheard of for parties to use them opportunistically as a dilatory tactic.
The courts in a substantial number of jurisdictions have traditionally been reluctant or unwilling to enforce multi-tiered dispute resolution clauses. In the last few years, however, courts in a number of well publicized cases have shown a willingness to enforce them. The purpose of this compendium is to briefly summarize the current state of the law in a number of jurisdictions throughout the world.
The 229-page Handbook includes individual chapters on the law in the following jurisdictions: Albania, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Estonia, Finland, France, Guatemala, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mexico, Moldavia, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, UAE, Ukraine, New York, and the USA.
Special thanks to my fellow editors and authors for their hard work on this project. If you would like to download a copy of the Handbook you may do so here.