International Arbitration – successful representation before Swiss Federal Supreme Court

nullNater Dallafior represents a globally operating corporation – being the policyholder – against one of its insurers in SCAI arbitration proceedings. The dispute concerns a claim for coverage based on a business liability insurance policy. The value in dispute is USD 50 million. The entire insurance tower consists of various insurance carriers and provides coverage in excess of USD 650 million.

Upon the initiation of the arbitration proceedings in 2020, the insurer raised the objection of lack of jurisdiction, contesting the validity of the arbitration agreement contained in the insurance policy. The insurer's main argument was that the provisional cover note ("insurance binder" or "binding slip") issued prior to the commencement of the policy year contained a clause stipulating the jurisdiction of state courts. After bifurcation of the question concerning jurisdiction, the tribunal rendered a thorough award on jurisdiction in June 2021 in which it fully upheld the policyholder's position, confirming that the insurance policy overruled the provisional cover note and, thus, confirming the validity of the arbitration agreement as agreed in the insurance policy.

The insurer lodged an appeal with the Swiss Federal Supreme Court. In its decision rendered in January 2022, the Swiss Federal Supreme Court fully dismissed the appeal and confirmed the validity of the arbitration agreement. The full decision of the Swiss Federal Supreme Court (in German) can be accessed here: https://www.bger.ch/ext/eurospider/live/de/php/aza/http/index.php?highlight_docid=aza%3A%2F%2Faza://03-01-2022-4A_460-2021&lang=de&zoom=&type=show_document

The team consists of Roberto Dallafior and Benjamin Schumacher.