Frequently Asked questions

What is arbitration?

Arbitration is a private dispute resolution procedure whereby the parties, by mutual agreement, instead of going to court, submit their disputes to one or more independent third parties called arbitrators, who are in charge of resolving the dispute and rendering a decision (called an award). Awards are binding on the parties and enforceable.

Arbitration can be of several types. Institutional arbitration, managed by the Madrid Court of Arbitration, offers numerous guarantees and advantages for obtaining a firm solution in a period generally shorter than 12 months thanks to the support offered by the Court’s Rules, one of the most modern and complete legal instruments in arbitration matters.

Is it possible to appeal against an award?

The resolution of disputes through arbitration implies equality of arms for the parties in a neutral and independent process, eliminating the disadvantages of litigation in the ordinary courts. In addition to the time element, in international disputes, arbitration eliminates the difficulty for the parties to litigate before their national courts.

Disputes are resolved by impartial arbitrators, independent of the parties and experts in the subject matter of the dispute. Arbitration is flexible, giving the parties the possibility to adapt it in terms of time limits and procedures to the specific case. In addition, confidentiality is guaranteed with respect to the existence of the arbitration itself, the disclosures made during the arbitration proceedings and the award.

The final awards obtained by the parties are final and have the same effectiveness as a final appeal court judgment, since awards are not subject to appeal. Arbitral awards are binding and easy to enforce.

Is it possible to appeal against an award?
There is no ordinary appeal against an award, as the award is a final decision. However, it is possible to bring an action for annulment of the award on specified grounds.

How do I submit a dispute to the Court of Arbitration of Madrid?

Arbitration is a consensual procedure. In order to submit a dispute to the Court of Arbitration, it is necessary that both parties to the dispute agree. Therefore, an arbitration clause must be inserted in the contract submitting disputes to arbitration administered by the Court of Arbitration Madrid. A model arbitration clause in different languages can be found in the Rules section.

The parties may also submit their disputes to the Madrid Court of Arbitration after they arise and even if not previously agreed in a contract if both parties agree to such submission.

Is the Court of Arbitration of Madrid intended primarily for arbitrations involving Madrid and/or Spanish parties?
No. The Court of Arbitration of Madrid is an international Court of Arbitration and has experience in administering arbitrations with non-Spanish parties, in languages other than Spanish, and can administer arbitrations with a seat of arbitration outside Spain.

How are arbitrators appointed in arbitrations handled by the Court of Arbitration of Madrid?

According to the Rules of the Court, if the parties have chosen a sole arbitrator to resolve the dispute, they are free to agree on the appointment of the arbitrator. In the case of an Arbitral Tribunal, each party may appoint one of the arbitrators, and the arbitrators appointed by the parties are responsible for choosing the presiding arbitrator. If the parties or the party-appointed arbitrators fail to agree, the Court of Arbitration shall make the appointment.

For the appointment of the arbitrators in the different cases submitted to it, the Court of Arbitration analyzes the specific case and the training, background and experience of the potential arbitrators, with the aim of appointing suitable arbitrators for the specific dispute, also guaranteeing impartiality.

Can the Court of Arbitration of Madrid act as appointing authority?
Yes. The Court may act as appointing authority, proceeding, if the parties so request, to designate the arbitrator in arbitrations not administered by the Court.

Can the Court of Arbitration of Madrid administer arbitration proceedings in other languages?
Yes. The Court can administer proceedings in English and French.

Can the Court of Arbitration of Madrid administer arbitration proceedings outside Madrid?
Yes. he Court can administer arbitration proceedings anywhere in the world that the parties mutually agree upon.

How long does an arbitration proceeding administered by the Court of Arbitration of Madrid usually take?
The Court treats each arbitration proceeding on an individual basis. Each case has its own complexity and pace, so it is difficult to establish a standard duration. As a general rule, arbitrators have 6 months to render an award from the date of the response to the claim. On average, arbitrations usually last about 10 months.
Is there an abbreviated procedure for small claims?
Yes. there is an abbreviated procedure for arbitrations involving amounts of less than 100,000 euros, in which the time limits and procedural formalities are shortened. For example, the arbitrator has 4 months to render an award instead of 6 and a single hearing is held for evidence and conclusions.

Is there an abbreviated procedure for small claims?
Yes. there is an abbreviated procedure for arbitrations involving amounts of less than 100,000 euros, in which the time limits and procedural formalities are shortened. For example, the arbitrator has 4 months to render an award instead of 6 and a single hearing is held for evidence and conclusions.

Can I obtain information from an arbitration proceeding to which I am a party?
Yes. The arbitration is confidential to any third party outside the arbitration, but the parties have access to the arbitration file.

What are the costs of the proceedings?

The costs of the arbitration proceedings at the Court of Arbitration of Madrid are very competitive compared to other Spanish and international courts. The costs consist of the Court’s admission and administration fees and the Arbitrator’s Fees. On this website you will find a cost calculator that will allow you to get an idea of the costs of arbitration before you start.

Does the Court of Arbitration of Madrid review the awards before they are notified to the parties?
The awards, prior to their signature by the arbitrators, are submitted to the Court for review, which may make strictly formal modifications and, while respecting the arbitrators’ freedom of decision, make suggestions on substantive aspects. The Court may also make suggestions on the determination and breakdown of costs.

Does the Court of Arbitration of Madrid publish its awards?
In order to disseminate the Court’s experience, the Rules provide for the possibility of publishing the awards provided that the parties agree and that all references to the names of the parties and data that can easily identify them are deleted.