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a) Arbitration agreement (clause) in contract or articles of association:

To access arbitration administered by the TAB to resolve conflicts that have arisen or may arise in the future, parties should include a model arbitration clause (model arbitration clause). The agreement should express the will of the parties to submit their disputes to TAB arbitration in any contract or corporate articles of association rules which they establish. They may also agree to submit to arbitration in a separate document or through an exchange of letters, faxes, or other forms of communication whereby the agreement is recorded.

Once agreed, arbitration becomes obligatory for the parties and prevents the courts from dealing with disputes submitted to arbitration if either party points out the existence of an arbitration agreement.

b) There is no arbitration clause, but I still want arbitration.

It is possible to reach an agreement with another party to enter arbitration. The TAB can facilitate such an agreement by contacting the other party or their lawyers. Consult us. 

c) Steps to initiate TAB arbitration.

The arbitration procedure is initiated by an application form (model application form) that the applicant must complete and submit to the Secretary of the TAB. The application must be accompanied by the contract, the articles of association or any other document containing the arbitration agreement from which the TAB derives jurisdiction for the administration of arbitration.

The presentation of the application gives rise to the payment of a registration fee (Fees) without payment of which  the TAB cannot start the introductory stages of the procedure, i.e. those dealing with preliminary issues prior to the arbitration proceedings per se, to be held by the arbitrator.

At this point, the TAB summons the party against whom the arbitration proceedings have been filed (defendant) and shall inform the parties of the successive steps.

d) How does arbitration work?

Arbitration proceedings are characterized by a lack of formalities and the flexibility with which the parties and the arbitrator - a neutral third party who resolves the dispute - can shape the course of proceedings, establishing the stages and deadlines as they deem appropriate with regard to their own needs.

The Ley de Arbitraje 60/2003 of 23 December [Spanish Arbitration Act] is the law governing the procedure. This law establishes the basic procedural principles governing any arbitration, with none of the formality and rigidity of judicial proceedings. It promotes flexibility and is anti-formalist, both in regard to written documents and their contents. This flexibility also extends to the evidence phase, in which regard the law only regulates the possibility of appointment of experts by the arbitrator.

The arbitration procedure normally ends with the final decision taken by the arbitrator, called the award. The award is enforceable, binding on the parties, with the same effect as a judgment.

e) How long does arbitration last?

The period available to the arbitrator to make the award is six months from the date of response to the claimant’s allegations by the defendant. This means that when arbitration is initiated the parties already know the date that the conflict will be resolved without further ado.

The award is notified to the parties, who may, if appropriate, seek clarification, correction or addition within the legally established deadlines. The award, and if appropriate the decision of the arbitrator as to clarifications, corrections or additions requested, terminates the proceedings and the role of the arbitrator.

The final award can only be challenged by way of an action for judicial review on the basis of formal defects or infringement of the fundamental principles of law.