Effective choice of court clauses (also known as jurisdiction clauses) are central to finance agreements. Reliable, certain process to enforce contractual obligations is essential for cross-border trade and finance transactions. Parties want to be sure that any disputes will be heard not just according to their chosen law but in their chosen forum, and that any judgment obtained can be easily and reliably enforced, including abroad if needed.   

The Eleventh Circuit upheld an arbitral award last month despite the arbitrators’ failure to make certain disclosures regarding potential sources of bias. The litigation involved a dispute between the Panama Canal Authority, the government agency responsible for the operation and management of the Panama Canal, and Grupo Unidos por el Canal, S.A., the contractor hired to construct the Panama Canal expansion. Complications with the project caused progress to be “severely delayed and disrupted,” resulting in liability disputes between the parties. 

Whether you are a regular user of arbitration, a default user of your local courts or pick and choose a forum depending on the deal, it always pays to take a cold look at those choices. Do they still work for you? Will they work in the future when a dispute arises? Have you taken into account developments in law and current best practice?

Today is the day to review your dispute resolution (DR) provisions. Why? We give you 5 good reasons.