Guidance on the AMINZ Arbitration Rules

In May of this year, the AMINZ Council approved the new AMINZ Arbitration Rules.  The Rules were result of extensive work by the drafting committee, chaired by me and assisted by Sir David Williams QC from Bankside Chambers in Auckland, Wendy Miles QC from Debevoise & Plimpton LLP in London, James Hosking from Chaffetz Lindsey LLP in New York, Daniel Kalderimis from Chapman Tripp in Wellington, Timothy Lindsay from Lindsay litigation-arbitration in Auckland and Sophie East from Bell Gully in Auckland.

On 30 October this year, I presented a  Guide to the AMINZ Arbitration Rules 2017.

The Rules are innovative, in that they capture current best practice in international arbitration and they provide flexibility for both domestic and international arbitration, large and small.  Key provisions in the Rules are:

  • procedural guidance in the use of the IBA guidelines on conflicts of interest, party representation and rule of evidence
  • memorial style presentation of pleadings, submissions of fact and law and evidence upon which the parties intend to rely
  • good faith dealings, including requiring the parties’ legal counsel to comply with the overriding objective to have the dispute resolved promptly, cost effectively and proportionately to the matters in dispute
  • appointment by AMINZ under the UNCITRAL list procedure, and failing that in accordance with the AMINZ Appointments Policy
  • emergency arbitration for the granting of interim measures and procedural orders (within 14 days)
  • expedited arbitration for matters of less than NZD 2 million not involving significant disputes of fact or law (decision without reasons within one month, and a fully reasoned final award within 2 months)
  • summary dismissal of proceedings which manifestly lack legal merit
  • Kaplan Openings, requiring an “issues hearing” in advance of the main hearing to allow parties to outline their respective cases
  • costs to be determined in accordance with the AMINZ Rules and Guidelines to Awarding Costs in Arbitration
  • appeals on questions of law are, by default, excluded – however, if the parties agree to such appeals, they are to be dealt with by the AMINZ Arbitration Appeals Tribunal
  • supervision of the arbitral proceeding by the AMINZ Court of Arbitration, administration by an AMINZ appointed Registrar and the use of tribunal secretaries

This has been a significant project for AMINZ, reflected in the warm reception which the Rules have received.