Choosing the right route – AC&G Asesores Legales
There are a number of options available for dispute resolution between Spanish and international companies, and each has their own merits
There are two key issues that are central to cross-border dispute resolution, according to Julio Garrido, Dispute Resolution Partner at AC&G Asesores Legales. “Parties involved in international conflicts must firstly identify which court will have jurisdiction over a dispute and, secondly, which law is applicable to the case,” he says. “Once these questions have been answered, then a decision on where a case should proceed can be made.”
Cross-border litigation requires a high-level of legal expertise. If a case is brought in Spain – either by or against a foreign company – then the ruling must be enforceable abroad. While this should not be much of an issue for matters involving parties from the EU, any claimants or defendants outside of the EU will require scrutiny of different jurisdictions’ rules and treaties.
Santiago Gastón de Iriarte, President of AC&G, points out that if a case needs to be heard in a foreign jurisdiction, a similar process happens in reverse.“It is important to know something about the procedural rules in different countries, especially in places such as the US and the UK,” he explains. “This means that Spanish law firms must collaborate closely with foreign ones in different countries in both applying the Spanish rules abroad and also applying foreign rules in Spain.”
“Mediation, which has not been not used that much in conflicts, is a final option and becoming more popular,” Gastón de Iriarte says. “The EU Mediation directive means any cross-border disputes involving EU parties can be enforced as a court order.”
They both suggest that arbitration can be an easier mechanism. This is because many countries – including Spain – have signed-up to the New York Convention of 1958, which legally recognises arbitration rulings. “As such, international conflicts settled by arbitration may be more straightforward to enforce,” Garrido concludes.