Federal Supreme Court: Unrestricted Review of Arbitral Awards in Antitrust Matters

by Lena Rindfus, Stefan Horn and Peter Bert

In a recent decision, the Federal Supreme Court (Bundesgerichtshof) held that German courts have jurisdiction to fully review arbitral awards applying competition law, if such an award is before them in enforcement or setting aside proceedings. The prohibition of a révision au fond, that is, a substantive review of the arbitral award by the ordinary courts, which is part of both the German domestic arbitration law and the New York Convention, does not apply in that context. Hence, lengthy and complex arbitral proceedings could end up being just “first instance proceedings” on their way to the ordinary courts if they relate to competition law matters. Continue reading

Frankfurt Court of Appeals: Award Can be Based on Tribunal’s Own Internet Research

In a decision published on 26 March 2021, the Frankfurt Court of Appeals (Oberlandesgericht) held that in arbitral proceedings, the arbitral tribunal is entitled to base its award on the results of its own internet research. On that basis, the Frankfurt Court of Appeals declared an arbitral award between two pharmaceutical companies for approx. EUR 140 million enforceable. Continue reading

Reimbursement of Translation Costs Incurred by Foreign Party in German Proceedings

If a foreign party to court proceedings in Germany requires translations of German language documents produced for and/or exchanged in these proceedings, the costs incurred for translations can quickly become significant. The fundamental rule is that the costs have to be reimbursed by the opponent as costs necessary to conduct the proceedings, if the foreign party succeeds in the litigation. A recent decision of the Court of Appeals (Oberlandesgericht) Frankfurt provides a very useful summary of the case law and dismisses many of the standard objections that losing parties tend to raise. Continue reading

Case of the Week: To Translate or not to Translate? – Pitfalls under the EU Service Regulation

LaPoste-Briefkasten (1)Until recently, a lawyer issuing proceedings in a German court against a foreign party could, as a matter of principle, assume that she had done everything necessary to suspend the statute of limitations or otherwise comply with an applicable time limit if two requirements were met: First, she had to file the statement of claim (Klageschrift) with the court in good time. Secondly, upon the court’s request the claimant had to immediately pay the advance on court as well as an advance on costs, if any, for a translation for service abroad. If these requirements were met. then service was deemed to have taken place on the date of filing the statement of claim with the court pursuant to Section 167 ZPO (Zivilprozessordnung; Code of Civil Procedure). Continue reading