IBA Annual Litigation Forum 2014, Montreal, May 14 – 16, 2014

This year’s IBA litigation conference will be held in Montreal on May 14 – 16, 2014, just over a month from now. As always, the IBA litigation committee, led by conference co-chairs Michael Hales and Ira Nishisato, have put together an interesting programme. There will be sessions on discovery in a cross-border context, on strategies for controlling the costs such discovery*, and on obtaining evidence abroad. And as always, I hope to learn, enjoy, meet old friends and make new ones. If you are in Montreal, let me know.

* Here’s my preferred strategy: Agree on the jurisdiction of the German courts. No discovery. Guaranteed…

Update: Should the Setting Aside of the Arbitral Award be Abolished?

Professor Albert Jan van den Berg dealt with this rather provocative question when he delivered the 2nd Karl-Heinz Böckstiegel Lecture on the topic on September 13, 2013. The lecture has since been published, and made available on video tape. In his lecture, Professor van den Berg undertook a tour d’horizon of the legal issues that setting aside procedures create – it is well worth reading, but for all those of you you can not deal with the uncertainty of not knowing the answer, I am going to give away his conclusion: Continue reading

Art Law: Agreement in Place on Gurlitt Art Find

It has been a week of massive movement in the Gurlitt case: On Monday, Gurlitt himself, Gurlitt’s guardian (Betreuer), Bavaria and the Federal Republic announced that they have come to an agreement. Gurlitt agrees for provenance research of his collection to continue. On a voluntary basis, he will accept the findings of the provenance research and restitute art work in accordance with the Washington Principles.

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Transatlantic Investment Protection: EU Online Consultation and Verfassungsblog Online Symposium

Investment protection and investment arbitration are getting unprecedented public attention in this country, across all kinds of media – the TTIP even made it into the heute show, a weekly satirical news show. The discussions are triggered by the negotiations of a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the European Union and the U.S. The discussion is not limited to Germany, though. The EU Commission did react, and on March 27, 2014 started an online consultation. Verfassungsblog,  Germany’s blog “on matters constitutional”, in turn has invited some twenty legal scholars to comment, in the form of online symposium, from various legal perspectives on the document put forward by the EU Commission – profound and thought-provoking discussions guaranteed. Verfassungsblog publishes both German and English-language posts, so do check it out.