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Carmen Ehrlich

Trainee

Position: Trainee
Practice Areas: Dispute Resolution , Private Clients
Field-Display: Dispute Resolution Team , Private Clients Team

Carmen Ehrlich works as a trainee for the Dispute Resolution and Private Clients Teams. She is mainly engaged in contract, procedural and corporate law. When she has completed her year as a trainee, she will sit the bar exam.

E-Mail

+41 44 254 55 55

Linkedin

VCard

Practice Areas

  • Dispute Resolution
  • Private Clients

Education

  • Swiss Distance University Institute (MLaw 2019)

Languages

  • German
  • English
  • French

Publications

Autor: Philipp E. Zurkinden
Paper: NZZ

“Relative market power” – an immature concept

When trying to reform the Federal Act on Cartels, the legislator has so far mainly engaged in overhasty proposals. The request to revitalise the reform process through the concept of “relative market power” is another false Approach.

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Subject: Dispute Resolution
Autor: Urs Feller, Marcel Frey, Nina Lim
Paper: The Lawyer
Reading time: 5 Min

‘One for all’, or arbitration clauses with effect for unconcluded contracts?

Recent decision in Switzerland should be noted by counsel

Introduction
The highest court of Switzerland recently issued a decision on the contentious topic of how to treat arbitration clauses contained in a multi-contractual party framework.

Facts of the case

The claimant in the arbitration proceedings (and respondent of the appeal proceedings before the Federal Tribunal), a German manufacturer, sought damages from the South Korea-based defendant (and appellant) in connection with a tender offered dby the claimant for the delivery of thin-film mtransistors. After a lengthy negotiation phase, the defendant was awarded the contract. During the negotiations, the claimant and defendant had exchanged various communication papers, including a corporate agreement (CA), the claimant’s general terms of purchase (ToP) and a quality assurance agreement (QAA). 

While the parties eventually reached an agreement and signed the QAA, neither the CA nor the ToP were ever formally signed. All three contracts contained arbitration clauses in favour of ICC arbitration proceedings with the place of arbitration being in Zurich. After several attempts to reach an agreement on the remaining open issues, the defendant informed the claimant that it was abandoning the project and that the claimant would need to look for another supplier. The claimant refused to accept this, commenced the arbitration and filed dfor damages. In its partial award of June 2019, the tribunal  found that (i) it had jurisdiction and (ii) that the defendant was liable in principle.

Proceedings before the Federal Tribunal

The defendant lodged an appeal requesting the Federal Tribunal to set aside the award by the tribunal, arguing that the arbitral tribunal lacked jurisdiction to adjudicate the dispute. The question to be decided by the Federal Tribunal was whether the arbitration clause contained in the concluded QAA also captured disputes which had their origin in other agreements, which had not actually been signed.

Reasoning by the Federal Tribunal – interpretation of QAA clause

The Federal Tribunal held that when interpreting an arbitration clause, the court must take into account its legal nature. In particular, it needs to be considered that the waiver of recourse to state courts everely restricts the parties’ legal remedies. For this reason, such a waiver may not be assumed lightly. In instances of doubt, the courts must favour a restrictive interpretation of the clause. However, where an interpretation established that the parties’ intent was to exclude state jurisdiction, but there existed disagreement regarding the details of the arbitration procedure, the principle of utility needed to be applied; i.e. once it is established that the parties did agree to vest jurisdiction in an arbitral tribunal, there is no reason to interpret an arbitration clause narrowly.

The Federal Tribunal went on to find that the interpretation of an arbitration clause follows the generally applicable principles of interpretation governing private declarations of intent. Firstly, the common and actual intent of the parties had to be ascertained. Where an actual intent could not be ascertained, the arbitration clause had to be interpreted based on the principle of reliance; i.e. the presumed intent of the parties needed to be determined based on what could and should have been understood by the respective declarations in good faith under the prevailing circumstances.

In the case at hand, the arbitration clause in the QAA provided that “contract disputes” had to be submitted to arbitration. According to the Federal Tribunal, the term “contract disputes” did not mean that the parties only wanted to submit disputes arising directly from the QAA to arbitration, but that disputes concerning the actual obligation to deliver the transistors were also included. Even though the parties had also envisaged arbitration clauses in the CA and ToP, this did not mean that the parties intended to introduce separate dispute resolution mechanisms for each separate claim.

On the contrary, the Federal Tribunal found that from an objective point of view, the parties had intended to subject all issues arising out of the delivery relationship to arbitration. The appeal was therefore rejected.

Conclusion

Even if not all contracts within a larger contractual framework are actually signed, counsel should be aware that an arbitral tribunal may well find dthat it has jurisdiction over all disputes arising from the entire business relationship.

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Subject: Capital Markets
Autor: Urs Bertschinger
Paper: Unternehmen – Transaktionen – Recht, Liber Amicorum für Rolf Watter

Zur Untersuchung von Effektentransaktionen durch die Aufsichtsbehörde – ein Beitrag zum Untersuchungsbeauftragten nach den Finanzmarktaufsichtsgesetzen

Analyse der rechtlichen Stellung, Kompetenzen und Auftragserfüllung des Untersuchungsbeauftragten bei der Untersuchung von Verletzungen von börsenrechtlichen Offenlegungs- und Angebotspflichten

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Subject: Dispute Resolution
Autor: Marino Baldi
Paper: AJP/PJA

Zur "Grundsätzlichkeit" der Bundesgerichtsurteile GABA und BMW - Die WEKO im Widerspruch zu "Lausanne" und informierter Sachlogik

Gemäss den Urteilen GABA und BMW handelt es sich beim Merkmal der Erheblichkeit in Art. 5 Abs. 1 KG um eine Bagatellklausel mit der Funktion eines Aufgreifkriteriums. Die materiell-rechtliche Beurteilung der Abreden erfolgt gemäss Bundesgericht in Anwendung von Art. 5 Abs. 2 KG. Für die WEKO soll dies nur für Erheblichkeit der gesetzlichen Vermutungstatbestände, nicht aber für die Prüfung des Normelements im Allgemeinen gelten. Dies kann nicht der Sinn des höchstrichterlichen Diktums sein.

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Autor: Christoph K. Graber
Paper: SWZ/RSDA

Zum Verhältnis der Sorgfaltspflichtvereinbarung der Banken zu Art. 305ter Abs. 1 StGB

Untersuchung des Sorgfaltsbegriffs nach den Standesregeln der Banken und nach Art. 305 Abs. 1 StGB und zum Verhältnis beider Bestimmungen, sowie zu Auswirkungen von VSB-Verfahren auf die Strafbarkeit nach StGB.

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Autor: Hans-Ulrich Brunner
Paper: HAVE Haftung und Versicherung

Zum Persönlichkeitsschutz bei Personenüberwachungen

Besprechung von BGE 136 III 410 (=Urteil des Bundesgerichts 5A_57/2010 vom 2. Juli 2010) betreffend Persönlichkeitsschutz eines Haftpflichtklägers (und seiner Ehegattin) bei Observation durch Privatdetektiv im Auftrag der Haftpflichtversicherung.

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Autor: Urs Feller
Paper: Recht 1998

Zugang zu Netzen und anderen Einrichtungen

Urs Feller analyses a German court decision by the High Court of Düsseldorf in the area of mobile communication and its potential implications for Swiss competetion law (essential facility doctrine).

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Autor: Philipp E. Zurkinden
Paper: Finanz und Wirtschaft

Zu wenig zielgerichtete Schweizer EU-Politik

EU-Politik der Schweiz war in den letzten Jahren orientierungslos und ist mitverantwortliche für das zunehmend angespannte Verhältnis der Schweiz mit der EU.

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Autor: Christoph K. Graber

Zu wenig wirkungsvolle Geldwäschereibekämpfung in der Schweiz

Votum für eine Überprüfung der bisher verfolgten Strategie bei der Geldwäschereibekämpfung.

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Autor: Philipp E. Zurkinden
Paper: Finanz und Wirtschaft

Zu wenig Fantasie in der Europapolitik

Heikle Frage der Gerichtsbarkeit – Eine zweite Auflage des EWR als neue Option? – Souveränität könnte gestärkt werden.

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