COVID-19 Coronavirus: International Arbitration


The COVID-19 economic crisis has increased the risk of investment disputes in the banking and financial sector, as the economic effects of the crisis spiral and as governments introduce responsive measures. International investment protection can mitigate this risk so long as investors in the banking and finance sectors ensure that their investments are properly protected and satisfy certain basic requirements.

Read our guidance: COVID-19 Economic Crisis: Ensuring Protection for International Banking and Finance Investors and their Investments (U.S.) - June 8, 2020

The COVID-19 economic crisis has increased the risk of defaults and restructurings of sovereign bonds. International arbitration of sovereign bond disputes has led to sizeable settlements in the past, which can affect the impact of sovereign debt and restructurings both on sovereign states and on foreign investors. Governments and bondholders should fully assess how the international investment protection system affects their rights, as well as the implications for any negotiations over sovereign bond defaults or restructurings. 

Read our guidance: Impending Sovereign Bond Disputes and the International Investment Protection System (U.S.) - May 15, 2020

The SPC's COVID-19 opinions unify the adjudication standards of Chinese courts and provide more clarity to parties of potential disputes in assessing the outcome of their cases. Notably, the COVID-19 opinions are issued as the first in a series of judicial interpretations by the SPC. It is expected that more SPC judicial interpretations relating to similar subjects will be issued in the near future.

Read our guidance: China's Supreme People's Court Recently Issued Its Judicial Guidance Opinions on Adjudication of COVID-19 Related Cases (China) - May 8, 2020

When clients are adversely affected by governmental measures, we assist them in evaluating what forms of recourse might be available and, where appropriate, pursuing recourse through international arbitration or other means. This OnPoint addresses the types of measures arising out of past crises that have been so severe as to result in international arbitration, and identifies immediate action items that investors in the banking and finance sectors could take to protect their investments.

Read our guidance: COVID-19 Economic Crisis: Protecting International Banking and Finance Investors and Their Investments (Global) - April 30, 2020

This OnPoint examines how dispute boards, a dispute resolution mechanism historically found in construction contracts, can assist with disputes related to COVID-19. The authors explain what dispute boards are, explore how their characteristics can assist with COVID-19 related disputes and address how to establish a dispute board, if a contract does not already provide for one. 

Read our guidance: Dispute Boards: Another Potential Means of Resolving COVID-19 Disputes (Global) – April 24, 2020

The traditional means by which parties can avoid (or delay) contractual obligations as a result of unexpected circumstances include the invocation of force majeure clauses and general legal doctrines. In this OnPoint, we briefly explore how the law applicable to a contract may prevent the enforcement of contractual rights and obligations during these extraordinary times.

Read our guidance: Suspension of Contractual Rights and Obligations in Singapore (and Possibly Soon Elsewhere) (Singapore) - April 22, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic and its economic consequences are likely to lead to an increased number of disputes related to cross-border commercial transactions. Arbitration provides flexibility to the parties involved and can be used to circumvent the backlog that national courts will face in the foreseeable future.

Read our guidance: Preparing for and Managing Cross-border Commercial Disputes (Global) - April 17, 2020

The unprecedented and unforeseen difficulties currently faced by the hospitality industry will likely lead to disputes. In this briefing, we address key commercial disputes that could arise out of the COVID-19 coronavirus crisis and provide practical advice to assist participants in the hospitality industry in preparing for and managing these disputes.

Read our guidance: Preparing for and Managing Disputes in the Hospitality Sector (Global) - April 16, 2020

We consider the legal consequences that may arise from the COVID-19 outbreak in relation to the performance of contractual obligations and the conduct of international arbitrations.

Read our guidance: The Consequences on Contract Performance and the Resolution of Disputes (Global) – March 9, 2020

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