Court of Innovative Arbitration

Given the great succes of the Basketball Arbitral Tribunal (BAT), we came up with the idea of employing a similar model in order to offer a quick and efficient means of binding dispute resolution also to other business sectors. Encouraged by very positive feedback, in particular from in-house counsel, we started developing a new court of arbitration, which adjusts the recipe for success of BAT to the needs of the wider commercial community.

The result is the Court of Innovative Arbitration (COIA), which was launched in September 2015. All cases are dealt with by a sole arbitrator who is appointed in a swift procedure and who decides ex aequo et bono, i.e. based on general considerations of justice and fairness, unless agreed otherwise by the parties. In practice, this means that the arbitrator applies the contractual provisions unless this is grossly unfair (in which case such contractual provisions likewise would not withstand scrutiny under most national laws). This detachment from national legal regimes obviates the need for disputes over the governing law and for expensive expert opinions on foreign laws.

In combination with other innovative elements in the arbitration rules, using sole arbitrators and having them decide ex aequo et bono allows for conducting the arbitration as efficiently as possible and thus in an inexpensive manner. This makes COIA an attractive option also for cases in which, given the amount in dispute, arbitration before other institutions would be too expensive.

COIA Quick Facts
  • True court of arbitration under Swiss law
  • Sole arbitrator appointed by the parties, otherwise by the institution from a closed list consisting of recognized experts
  • In the absence of an agreement to the contrary: decision based on principles of equity (ex aequo et bono)
  • Language of the proceedings: English (unless agreed otherwise by all concerned)
  • Oral hearings held only if requested by both parties or deemed necessary by the arbitrator
  • Highly efficient proceedings with short deadlines for submitting briefs and with paperless arbitration to the extent possible
  • The arbitration award must be made within 6 weeks of the end of the proceedings
  • Administrative starting from 2.000 euros (depending on the amount in dispute) apply; the arbitrator and the COIA President are remunerated on the basis of (modest) hourly rates, thus their fees vary according to the complexity of the case at hand (generally between 4,000 and 12,000 euros, and less than 8,000 euros on average)
  • Enforcement in accordance with the New York Convention