Identifying the seat of arbitration, the home legal system, is one of the most important features of an arbitration clause. It sets the framework for the law governing the arbitration procedure and more importantly, the process and rights relating to the enforcement of the arbitral award. With many places around the world now vying to be the seat of choice for commercial arbitrations, what comprises a ‘safe’ seat and how can one be distinguished from the other?
The “seat” or “place” of the arbitration has long been recognized as far more than a place where the main evidentiary hearing might be held. Indeed, in many arbitrations, procedural meetings are often held remotely or in places other than the seat where this is more convenient to the parties and the tribunal. Still, it is now widely accepted that the choice of seat has a range of potentially significant implications for supporting – or undermining – the effective and efficient conduct of the ar