Arbitration is increasing “across the board”, says Gonzalo Stampa, Founding Partner of Stampa Abogados in Madrid, which recently incorporated Juan Blanco as a Partner to reinforce the arbitration and litigation practice.
La crisis ha originado una serie de conflictos contractuales entre las empresas, con una variante respecto a la selección de árbitros o abogados procesalistas, afirma Gonzalo Stampa, de Stampa Abogados. Los clientes buscan el “toque personal” que firmas especialistas pueden fácilmente ofrecerles.
The economic downturn has prompted a specific uptake in contractual battles as companies protect their businesses in light of shifting market dynamics. “Arbitration has been on the rise, whether it is in M&A, energy, construction or engineering,” says Stampa. “The disputes we have seen often centre on supply and construction contracts, where an existing contract has either not been fulfilled or the agreement has changed considerably.”
The rise in arbitration is thanks, in part, to the increasing prominence of arbitration clauses within contracts, says Stampa, and therefore if a dispute arises from unfulfilled obligations or changes in payments, arbitration is the first course of action. The other major factor is legislative reforms that can alter agreements, Stampa adds, with prime examples being the renewable energy sector, which recently saw the Government cut its feed-in tariffs for developers, as well as the restructuring of the cajas.
“Legislation has an impact on contracts,” Stampa says. “Those for a renewable energy project, for instance, were signed on the basis of payments at a set tariff. When the Government decides to reduce that tariff, all the contracts have to be reviewed.”
Stampa believes that clients are looking for the “personal touch” that can be offered by specialist arbitrators rather than large-scale firms. He highlights the necessity for in-depth international knowledge and a range of disputes services.
“Clients also seek out individual lawyers rather than specific law firms when looking to arbitrate,” says Stampa. “Clients expect to pick up the phone and talk directly with the partner working on the case.”